One of the great challenges the world is facing today is the global food crisis. “This emergency has left 700 million people undernourished,” said Secretary of State Antony Blinken. “We are working in our government to try to deliver solutions to … mitigate the impact of the immediate crisis we face.”
“The United States is by far the largest donor in the world to the World Food Program. We provide about 50 percent of the World Food Program’s budget every year. I would note that other very large countries that are often in the headlines provide less than 1 percent of its budget.”
But “Even as we focus on these near-term needs,” said Secretary Blinken, “we can’t lose sight of the fundamental challenge of the coming decades – feeding more and more people in the world where growing food is becoming harder and harder.”
Indeed, global demand for food will increase by 50 percent by 2050, said Secretary Blinken.
“President Biden talks a lot about what he calls an inflection point. It’s something that comes along every six or seven generations, and what it means is this: The changes in the international environment right now are so significant, so profound, that the decisions that we and other countries make today are going to shape the future not just for the next few years but for the coming decades. And this is the kind of moment that comes around only once every six or seven generations.”
There is little doubt that future food security depends on fertile soils and crops adapted to climate change. “So, in February of this year, the United States, the African Union, the Food and Agriculture Organization came together and launched something we call the Vision for Adapted Crops and Soils – or VACS,” said Secretary Blinken.
“The United States committed $100 million to VACS – $30 million to adapt crops, $70 million to enhance the health of soil. And working through the International Fund for Agricultural Development – IFAD – we have also established a new multi-donor funding platform to help finance those better seeds and soils.”
“I am very proud of the fact that the United States is a founding donor, and I have a very simple request to you tonight: Join us,” said Secretary Blinken. “Make this investment in our shared future. I think we have a powerful opportunity to make a profound difference, to do the shaping of the next decades starting right now.”