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Chair’s Statement: Roadmap for Global Food Security–Call to Action

MEDIA NOTE
OFFICE OF THE SPOKESPERSON
MAY 19, 2022

*The following statement is issued by the United States as Chair of a Global Food Security Ministerial Meeting held at United Nations Headquarters and endorsed by Albania, Australia, Brazil, Canada, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, France, Gabon, Germany, Ghana, Guyana, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Lithuania, Mauritania, Mexico, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Qatar, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sweden, Tunisia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Ukraine, and Yemen: *

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We issue this Roadmap for Global Food Security–Call to Action to affirm our commitment to act with urgency, at scale, and in concert to respond to the urgent food security and nutrition needs of millions of people in vulnerable situations the world.  We commit to provide immediate humanitarian assistance, build resilience of those in vulnerable situations, support social protection and safety nets, and strengthen sustainable, resilient, and inclusive food systems in line with the objectives of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals, and the objectives of the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit.

We note with grave concern that the newly-released 2022 Global Report on Food Crises indicates that the number of people facing acute food insecurity greatly increased from 135 million in 2019 to 193 million in 2021 in the 53 countries most in need of assistance, and that nearly 40 million people across 36 countries experienced emergency levels of acute food insecurity, just one step away from famine.  Driven by conflicts, extreme climate-related events, such as historic multi-season droughts and floods; economic shocks, including the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on livelihoods, incomes, and food prices; and a multitude of other threats to human, animal and crop health, the food security outlook for 2022 and beyond is grim.  This is compounded by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which is further exacerbating this already dire situation.  We call on all United Nations Member States, international organizations, the private sector, and civil society and academia to urgently support the emergency response to address humanitarian needs and to also focus on building resilient and sustainable food systems particularly for those most vulnerable to food insecurity and malnutrition.

We reaffirm the vital role of the United Nations system, its implementing partners, and non-government organizations in responding to the global food security crisis, in particular through the work of the World Food Programme, Food and Agriculture Organization, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, International Fund for Agricultural Development, United Nations Children’s Fund, and the Global Network against Food Crises.  We strongly support the swift initiative of the UN Secretary-General in ensuring a coordinated and comprehensive response through the UN Secretariat’s Global Crisis Response Group on Food, Energy and Finance (GCRG).  We thank the UN Secretary-General for his consistent leadership to raise collective awareness and action on food security and food systems transformation.

We welcome the G7’s efforts under the German Presidency’s leadership to prioritize and respond to the escalating global food security crisis, most prominently the shaping of a Global Alliance for Food Security. We recall the G7 Famine Prevention Compact agreed during the United Kingdom Presidency and we look forward to addressing food security as a core component of social, economic, and environmental development under Indonesia’s G20 Presidency, recalling also the G20 Matera Declaration on Food Security, Nutrition and Food Systems promoted under the Italian G20 Presidency. We welcome the different initiatives taken by the African Union (AU) for the elimination of hunger and food insecurity in Africa under the Senegalese presidency’s leadership. In this regard, we recall the AU theme of the year 2022: Strengthening Resilience in Nutrition and Food Security on the African Continent: Strengthening Agro-Food Systems, Health and Social Protection Systems for the Acceleration of Human, Social and Economic Capital Development.” We take note of various other international initiatives, such as the Food and Agriculture Resilience Mission (FARM).

We welcome the commitment of the multilateral development banks and international financial institutions to combine their expertise and financing to quickly increase policy and financial support to countries and households vulnerable to the food security crisis and to increase domestic agricultural production in, and supply to, affected countries in line with a transition to sustainable food systems. We are pleased that these commitments have been encapsulated in the IFI Action Plan to Address Food Insecurity.

Recognizing that the impacts of and capacity to respond to global food insecurity are unevenly distributed across countries, and that conflicts, climate change, and macroeconomic shocks threaten global food security both immediately and into the future, we call on all UN Member States to commit to addressing immediate humanitarian needs and disruptions, including guaranteeing full, safe, and unhindered humanitarian access to populations in need.  We ask that UN Member States rapidly provide additional contributions to urgent humanitarian appeals to the areas most affected by acute hunger, which are experiencing the compound effects of multiple historic shocks and where the greatest number of lives are under immediate threat due to food insecurity and malnutrition.

We also call on all UN Member States to work together to mitigate the mid-term and long-term impacts of recent shocks to global agriculture and food systems.  We must collectively mitigate fertilizer shortages and the subsequent threat to food production, increase investments in agricultural capacity and resilience, buffer those in vulnerable situations from impacts to their food security, nutrition and well-being, and sustain high-level global political engagement on these critical issues.

As part of the Roadmap for Global Food Security–Call to Action, we call for the following actions:

  1. UN Member States with available resources to make new, additive financial donations to key humanitarian organizations providing immediate life-saving humanitarian assistance, including cash, food and nutrition supplies, health and nutrition programming, water and sanitation, and humanitarian protection to populations at the most severe risk, while at the same time strengthening their resilience to multiple shocks wherever possible.

  2. UN Member States with available resources, including those with large emergency food stockpiles, to provide in-kind donations and necessary associated costs to key humanitarian organizations for transportation and delivery of food commodities, based on assessed needs by governments of affected countries or humanitarian organizations.

  3. All UN Member States to keep their food and agricultural markets open and to avoid unjustified restrictive measures, such as export bans on food or fertilizer, which increase market volatility and threaten food security and nutrition at a global scale, especially among those in vulnerable situations already experiencing increased poverty, hunger, and malnutrition, and call on all members to ensure safe maritime transportation in the Black Sea.

  4. UN Member States with available resources to temporarily increase fertilizer production in order to compensate shortages, support fertilizer innovations and promote methods to maximize fertilizer efficiency, invest in diversifying sustainable production of fertilizers, and increase the use of residues as fertilizers to create longer-term supply chain resilience for this key input.

  5. UN Member States with available resources to increase efforts to support the sustainable transformation of agriculture and food systems to make them more resilient and available to smallholder farmers, and strengthen the infrastructure, logistical support, and innovation needed to cultivate, store, and distribute food.

  6. All UN Member States to increase their investments in research to develop and implement science-based and climate-resilient agricultural innovations, including seeds, that contribute to building sustainable and resilient agricultural sectors and food systems.

  7. All UN Member States and regional organizations to closely monitor markets affecting food systems, including futures markets, to ensure full transparency, and to share reliable and timely data and information on global food market developments, especially through the relevant international organizations.

We note the many commitments made today in response to this Roadmap for Global Food Security–Call to Action and urge the mobilization of additional resources to implement this roadmap on an urgent basis.

We will regularly review actions outlined in this Roadmap for Global Food Security–Call to Action, and will coordinate commitments and their implementation with UN System agencies, the G7, G20, multilateral development banks and international financial institutions, and other partners as appropriate.

Enhanced coordination at country level is key, including to support the work of the GCRG in partner countries. We will step-up our efforts in this regard, including strengthened reporting concerning the actions and impact on the ground to avert further socio-economic shocks and risks.