- Global Food Security Summit in London will drive long-term change in hunger and malnutrition
- new UK support will advance food security by growing climate-resilient crops and increasing funding to tackle severe child malnutrition
- International development white paper launched at summit outlines UK’s new long-term approach to global food challenges
The UK will launch a new science center where experts will develop climate-resilient crops and identify risks to global food systems, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced today (Monday 20 November).
The new venture will be unveiled at the Global Food Security Summit in London, which the UK is hosting alongside Somalia, the United Arab Emirates, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation .
In his opening speech, the Prime Minister will urge the international community to address the underlying causes of food insecurity, build more resilient food systems and act now to prevent food crises and malnutrition.
The new virtual science hub will be managed CGIAR, a global research partnership that brings together international organizations working on food security, will make global food systems more resilient to future climate change shocks. It will link UK scientists with research initiatives that will develop crops that can withstand the impacts of climate change and are more resistant to disease.
The UK’s new white paper on international development and food insecurity is also expected to be announced at the summit on Monday.
The white paper aims to address food insecurity as one of the pressing global challenges, setting out how the UK will go beyond financial aid and instead work in partnership with countries to tackle extreme poverty and climate change.
Climate change, conflict, the long-term impacts of COVID-19, and the effects of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on the global food supply are the main drivers of current food insecurity.
The UK has played a leading role in ensuring that Ukraine can continue to export its agricultural products, despite Russia’s withdrawal from the Black Sea Grains Initiative (BSGI) and disregard for the impact what this has had on the world’s most vulnerable. Ukrainian grain exports are crucial to ensuring global food security.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said:
We must act to address the underlying, and often invisible, causes of global food insecurity.
From the impact of the Russian war in Ukraine to the effects of major natural disasters on food production, I am proud that alongside our partners, the UK is playing a leading role in finding solutions to some of the greatest global challenges of our time.
The white paper’s priorities include mobilizing international finance, reforming the international system, harnessing innovation and putting women and girls at the center, ensuring opportunities for all.
Minister for International Development Andrew Mitchell said:
Many children go to bed hungry and malnourished. At this summit, the UK and its partners will be united in their determination to change this situation. Cutting-edge science and innovative partnerships will help Britain create a healthier, safer and more prosperous world for us all.
Today we will launch the UK International Development White Paper, which sets out our long-term vision for tackling critical global challenges, including preventing and treating child wasting, through new partnerships and sources financing. The World Food Summit is a practical example of how we are already working to make this vision a reality.
Flood-resistant rice, disease-resistant wheat, biofortified, vitamin-rich sweet potatoes are just some of the improved crops the UK has so far helped develop through CGIARadvanced crop selection.
Working with partners, the UK is tackling the deteriorating food security and malnutrition situation across the world, including in Africa.
Up to £100 million in humanitarian funds will be released to countries most affected by food insecurity, including Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan and Afghanistan, as well as countries affected by climate-related cyclones and droughts, such as Malawi.
The UK is also helping to avoid future food and nutrition crises in Somalia by building resilience to climate shocks and strengthening health services.
Malnutrition is the underlying cause of 45% of child deaths worldwide.
At the summit, the Prime Minister will announce increased UK support for the Child Nutrition Fund. This funding will enable it to scale up support for breastfeeding, infant feeding and healthcare, and improve monitoring of what best manages and prevents the worst forms of child malnutrition.
The UK’s support will also match, pound for pound, the amount that the worst-affected countries, including Uganda, Ethiopia and Senegal, are investing of their own resources to tackle the problem. This will help ensure a more reliable supply of essential foods for young children suffering from the worst forms of malnutrition.
The summit will be opened with speeches from Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment Mariam Almheiri and CIFF’s Sir Chris Hohn.
Representatives from more than 20 countries, including Somalia, the United Arab Emirates, Brazil, Pakistan, Yemen, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Malawi and Mozambique, are expected at the summit.
UK announcements include:
- up to £100 million to respond to food security crises and their impacts in hunger and malnutrition hotspots around the world, including Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan, the Sahel, Afghanistan and Malawi. The funds cover important programs for food security, including food, nutrition and cash support to the most vulnerable households.
- up to £100 million to build resilience to climate shocks and ensure food security for the most vulnerable families in Somalia to avoid future humanitarian crises
- new CGIAR UK Science Center
- Extra £16 million for the Child Nutrition Fund