Grassroots International

In the News | Página 20 de 25

  • Women and the Food Crisis

    Since I started my internship with Grassroots International in May, I have come to realize the true magnitude of the food crisis. The way that the economic system produces and distributes food is leaving far too many people hungry and jobless. Throughout my research, I studied the effect that the crisis has had on women, and I believe that their role, though historically overlooked, is crucial to finding a sustainable solution.  I believe, along with everyone at Grassroots International, that women's economic and land rights are not just rights that they deserve as people, but steps that must be taken in order to bring the world out of the food crisis.

  • Rocks in the Sun

    Haiti's fight for basic human rights often finds its way into the Kreyol language's vivid and plentiful proverbs. Sak vid pa kanpe means that a hungry person cannot do anything – literally, an empty sack cannot stand up. Of the many root causes of the current food crisis that is rendering the poor majority of Haitians unable to feed them themselves, the lack of water rights is of utmost significance.

    A focus group of Haitian woman in Port-de-Paix concluded that the water problem is what often causes massive hunger. They reported that the water problem is causing "people to die in its hands."

  • Million Cistern Project Provides Life-giving Water in Brazil

    Brazil's northeast, with the biggest population of any arid region in the world, is home to many of the more than 10 million Brazilians who live without regular access to clean and safe drinking water. For years the people of the region struggled to survive with no help from national public policy makers. Now policy makers are pursuing two very different approaches to the problem of the northeast's water insecurity: a community driven, grassroots public policy that supports building low-cost cisterns to provide water to the families who need it most, and a top-down mega-project to redirect the São Francisco River through a massive series of dams and canals.

  • West Bank Wall Elevates Barrier to Water Access for Palestinians

    The construction of the Wall by the Israeli government in the West Bank is viewed by many as the third and final wave of expulsion of the Palestinian people, following the forced Palestinian exodus in 1948 in the wake of Israel's independence, and then the 1967 Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza. Perhaps, more than any other element of the occupation, the Wall illustrates the severity of the Palestinian situation and the urgency for access to resources, including water.

  • Abolish the MST, or the Unproductive Latifundos?

    In late June, Grassroots partner, the Landless Workers Movement (MST) made public a document they got a hold of that showed the intention of the Rio Grande do Sul state Public Ministry to "dissolve" the MST. The document is based on a meeting, on December 3, 2007, during which the state Public Ministry decided: to outlaw any mobilization of landless workers, including marches and walks, to intervene in settlement schools, to criminalize leaders and members, and to "deactivate" all the encampments in Rio Grande do Sul. 

  • The Truce of the Matter

    After nearly one year of a suffocating siege imposed on Gaza by the Israeli military establishment, a truce agreement was reached between Hamas and Israel. This followed months of dedicated Egyptian good offices. Rockets launched from Gaza against Israeli settlements were to stop in return for gradually lifting the blockade. A cease-fire sustained for six months would then roll over to the West Bank. Gilad Shalit, the hostage Israeli soldier, would be released in a separate deal involving exchange of Palestinian prisoners. Future negotiations would set the terms for opening the borders between Egypt and Gaza.

  • Local and Fair Trade at the Crossroads

    Grassroots International ally Phyllis Robinson of Equal Exchange recently wrote about the potential wedge driven between advocates of local foods (often called "localvores" in the current vernacular) and those working for Fair Trade. As she points out, Fair Trade and Buy Local advocates share many important concerns about the ways we can take back our food system so that it works best for small farmers and consumers, both locally and throughout the world – developing systems that promote food sovereignty.  For more information, read her article.


    Grassroots International founder Dan Connell today sits on the organization’s board as an emeritus member. The article draws on a consultancy he had with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization in 1996 and originally appeared in Development in Practice, vol. 7, no. 3 (August 1997), Oxford, U.K., and as a chapter "Participatory Development: an approach sensitive to class and gender" in Dorienne Rowan-Campbell ed., Development with Women, Oxford, U.K.: Oxfam Books, 1999.


  • New Community Guide to Environmental Health Tackles Resource Rights from the Grassroots

    Friends and supporters of Grassroots International may be familiar with Hesperian Foundation, a non-profit publisher of community health education materials, best known for Where There Is No Doctor, recognized by WHO as "the most widely-used health manual in the world." With this month's publication of the long-anticipated A Community Guide to Environmental Health, Hesperian celebrates more than just the release of another book. It allows us all to celebrate and learn from the myriad ways in which people at the grassroots can and do take control over their own environmental health.

  • Xenophobia Raises Ugly Head in South Africa

    Dozens of people have been killed and tens of thousands displaced across South Africa in a wave of anti-immigrant violence over the past several weeks. This comes against a backdrop of growing impatience with the government's anemic efforts to overcome the chronic poverty and massive social inequality inherited from the apartheid era, now more than a decade and a half behind them, and in the face of rising political violence in neighboring Zimbabwe from where many of the 5-10 million "foreigners" come.

  • FUNAGUAS Protests the Bunge Corporation

    The following is an English translation of a statement made by Judson Barros, the president of FUNAGUAS, as he protested the Bunge Corporation outside its annual stockholders' meeting in New York.

    Bunge Food Inc. has been in the public eye over the last two months in many media outlets in Brazil (magazines, websites and newspapers) for two reasons:

  • The Time has Come for La Via Campesina and Food Sovereignty

    Around the world it seems more and more that the time has come for La Via Campesina.  The global alliance of peasant and family farm organizations has spent the past decade perfecting an alternative proposal for how to structure a country's food system, called Food Sovereignty.  It was clear at the World Forum for Food Sovereignty, held last year in Mali, that this proposal has been gaining ground with other social movements, including those of indigenous peoples, women, consumers, environmentalists, some trade unions, and others.  Though when it comes to governments and international agencies, it has until recently been met with mostly deaf ears.  But now things have changed.  The global crisis of rising food prices, which has already

  • An Effective Response to the Burma Tragedy

    On Friday night (May 2), a massive cyclone (hurricane) hit Burma. U.S. embassy officials now estimate the death toll may well climb to 100,000. Hundreds of thousands are homeless, without water and food prices have skyrocketed.

    Worse, the military regime, which did practically nothing to warn the Burmese people of the cyclone, is still not opening the country to international aid in any significant way. This behavior is consistent with the military regime's denial of access for aid agencies to help victims of the military regime's war on civilians in eastern Burma.

  • Bill Clinton: Brazilian Landowner

    A rich, influential citizen of the United States or Europe—say, Bill Clinton or Bill Gates—buys land in Brazil, either as an individual or a partner in a company. They want to invest in agrofuels, and figure that crops can be grown on their new land for fuel (and profit). But as a result, the price of land rises in Brazil; peasants and other low-income workers can no longer afford to buy land. And they have no say in how the land purchased by foreigners is used.

  • Is There Child Labor in Your Meal?

    Every person who consumes food in America has a right to know if child or slave labor was used to farm or process the food they eat. But agribusinesses don't seem to agree.

    Our friends at the International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF) are lobbying for a provision in the pending U.S. Farm Bill that establishes a voluntary certification system in which companies can verify that their products are not made with child and slave labor. But Cargill and Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) are lobbying intensely to kill the provision. Why? As the ILRF points out, this is a purely voluntary system, and a corporation that is following international law should have nothing to fear.

  • Dangerous Liaisons

    "Burning food today so as to serve the mobility of the rich countries is a crime against humanity" said Jean Ziegler, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food criticizing the growing push for using food crops as fuel crops and diverting land use from food cultivation to fuel cultivation. In the face of the growing global crisis that he said could lead to "widespread hunger, malnutrition and social unrest on an unprecedented scale" United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon convened a global task force to respond, and called for closing the $755 million funding gap in the UN's World Food Programme.