Government food security measures in the pandemic were late and insufficient, study finds

The law that permits food distribution by the National School Food Program was published in April

The federal government’s delay in guaranteeing school meals for children during the period of social isolation was a threat to the right to adequate food. According to the latest issue of the Rights in Pandemic Bulletin, released on Thursday, October 22, only on April 7 did the federal government publish a law (Law No. 13,987/2020) that provided for the distribution of food purchased with funds from PNAE (National School Food Program) directly to school children in the form of “food kits”.

The study explains that the law gave the organizations running the program the autonomy to define the eligibility criteria for the emergency cash transfer program, but it did not provide universal coverage for children enrolled in the public school system. The publication also notes that the amount may not be enough to pay for a meal equivalent to the one received inside the schools. 

“The lack of timely and direct action by the federal government, coupled with economic liberalism, the reduction of public spending on social programs and the absence of intersectoral governance and federative dialogue removed the compass and ruler for public policy on ensuring the right to adequate food,” wrote Patrícia Constante Jaime, of the Public Health Faculty of the University of São Paulo (USP), and Jacqueline Resende Berriel Hochberg, researcher at the Center for Epidemiological Research on Nutrition and Health, who signed the article on food security. 

Read issue #7 of the Rights in the Pandemic Bulletin

Maranhão and Federal District

The 7th issue of the Rights in the Pandemic Bulletin also includes a report of the number of rules related to the Covid-19 pandemic published by the state of Maranhão and by the Federal District until June 2020. Maranhão published 352 rules, among them orders (143), decrees (130), laws (18) and provisional measures (10). The Federal District, meanwhile, published 335 rules, among them orders (152), decrees (76) and laws (25). 

The publication also updates the number of rules related to Covid-19 issued by the federal government: 2,355 between January and September 30, 2020.

About the Rights in the Pandemic Bulletin

Given the urgency that the Covid-19 pandemic has created in Brazil and around the world, the Rights in the Pandemic Bulletin proposes to conduct comprehensive research into all the legal and sub-legal norms issued by government in Brazil, whether on the federal, state or municipal level.

The project is being conducted by a multidisciplinary team and consists of documentary research to establish a database of norms, with the production of data for qualitative analysis of the potential impact on human rights, as well as the production of data for disaggregation and quantitative analysis, in particular cross-referencing data on the norms with epidemiological indicators.

The project proposes to analyze the impact of the new legislation on fundamental rights, so that it will be possible to monitor its effects in the medium and long term.


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