In response to the food global crisis, governments, international and regional organizations, multilateral development banks, non-governmental organizations, and philanthropists came together in Berlin on Saturday to unite for global food security during the Ministerial Conference “Uniting for Global Food Security ” in Berlin.
During the crucial conference, the partakers were committed to forging strong partnerships within the Global Alliance for Food Security and beyond in a bid to make sure that nobody will be left behind.
The Global Alliance for Food Security and its working groups will help to ensure a cohesive international response to the food security crisis and follow up on commitments made by Global Alliance participants, according to a statement released by the UN.
They called on Russia to end the war in Ukraine immediately, to stop its threats to and blockade of Ukrainian ports and all other activities that hamper Ukrainian food production and exports, putting the lives of millions all over the world at risk.
The stakeholders also shared the view that farmers need to adapt to climate change to safeguard food security. Moreover sustainable agricultural production should even contribute to the global protection of the climate, contribute to biodiversity, avoid negative impacts on the environment and strengthen the implementation of agroecological and regenerative practices.
They affirmed the need for locally adapted seeds of better quality and more efficient fertilizer use, including non-fossil-based fertilizers, as well as access to digital options for farmers.
In a bid to mitigate the implications of the crisis, they committed to focusing on the goal of a sustainable transformation of agriculture and food systems. “A strong and well-functioning multilateral system will be pivotal to reaching our goals.”
Moreover, participants committed to supporting the humanitarian system wherever possible in providing urgent humanitarian assistance to people threatened by food insecurity, notably by reinforcing contributions to the World Food Programme and other humanitarian actors and by ensuring respect for humanitarian principles in all measures taken in response to the Russian aggression against Ukraine.
In addition to this, participants agreed on the need for applying an appropriate balance between humanitarian and development activities, depending on the operational context and needs, and in line with the Humanitarian Development Peace Nexus.
Furthermore, participants agreed on the key role that all UN Rome-based agencies – FAO, IFAD and WFP – play in driving the international community’s efforts to address food insecurity.
Participants stressed the importance of refraining from inappropriate measures that limit trade, and of avoiding unjustified measures, such as export bans on food or fertilizer, which increase market volatility and threaten food security and nutrition on a global scale.
They committed themselves to continue their support to Ukraine in keeping up its agricultural production, storage, transport and processing, and to support Ukraine and its neighbors in developing additional export routes for agricultural goods in a speedy manner. They acknowledged the need while doing this, to work on additional and new solutions to keep grain from going to waste.
Participants committed to continue their work on the necessary transformation towards sustainable agriculture and food systems and to support improvements in the global governance of agriculture and food systems, strengthening the role of the Committee on World Food Security as an inclusive and intergovernmental global platform to ensure food security and nutrition for all.
The Global Agriculture and Food Security Program is an inclusive, flexible and demand-driven multilateral financing instrument with a proven track record of coordinating development initiatives at the country level to support these efforts, the statement said.
They underlined the importance of the progressive realization of the human right to adequate food as well as Sustainable Development Goal 2 (Zero Hunger by 2030). All people must be given an opportunity to realize that right. Civil society organizations expressed their willingness to contribute their experience to develop adequate long-term solutions to that goal.
Participants committed to fostering sustainable consumption and an increase in local production in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the reduction of food loss and waste.
In the same context, they shared the view that farmers need to adapt to climate change to safeguard food security. Moreover sustainable agricultural production should even contribute to the global protection of the climate, contribute to biodiversity, avoid negative impacts on the environment and strengthen the implementation of agroecological and regenerative practices.
At the end of the conference, they underlined the need for locally adapted seeds of better quality and more efficient fertilizer use, including non-fossil-based fertilizers, as well as access to digital options for farmers.
The food security situation and the humanitarian and economic crises in the poor countries in Africa and Asia are having detrimental effects on access to healthy diets, purchasing power, and dietary patterns, and are adversely affecting the nutritional status of the most vulnerable, particularly children, adolescent girls, and women, according to a report released by FAO, WHO, UNICEF, and WFP last week.
The report said that the health and humanitarian crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic has undermined food security and nutrition.
Furthermore, global food prices have reached an all-time high in 2022 and the conflict in Ukraine threatens to disrupt global supplies of wheat, maize, and other crops, as well as fertilizer, creating further pressure on prices and additional challenges to ensuring food security for many countries, it noted.