More than 200 million people around the world are suffering acute food insecurity, declared Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the recent Global Food Security Summit.
In May, the United Nations launched the Roadmap for Global Food Security: A Call to Action. It calls on member states to take seven actions, which include keeping food and agricultural markets open, increasing fertilizer production, and investing in climate-resilient agriculture.
More than 100 countries have signed on to the roadmap, and many are already acting on those commitments. “Action is crucial,” declared Secretary Blinken, “because the current crisis is one that no individual country or even group of countries can solve alone.” At the UN General Assembly, President Biden announced over $2.9 billion in new assistance to address global food insecurity, building on $6.9 billion in United States assistance to support global food security already committed this year.
But not everyone is contributing, noted Secretary Blinken. “Some countries with the capacity to do more are among those doing the least. That needs to change. And no matter what countries have done so far, every country is called upon to do more.”
“Another way that we can support immediate relief is by pushing for an extension of the deal that the United Nations and Turkey brokered between Russia and Ukraine, which has allowed for grain and other agricultural products to be exported from Black Sea ports,” said Secretary Blinken.
The second step is to help countries develop the capacity to produce their own food, said Secretary Blinken:
”Over the next five years, the United States will work with our Congress to invest over $11 billion worldwide toward this goal of durable agricultural production. Last month, we added eight new African partners to Feed the Future. This is our flagship program to broaden social safety nets, to strengthen food systems, to improve nutrition.”
Finally, there needs to be better coordination across governments, regional bodies, foundations, and NGOs to make sure that they are working together.
“But maybe most important, beyond what we say, is, of course, what we do,” said Secretary Blinken. “The health, the stability, [and] the wellbeing of our people depends on the food security that we build together.”