UK to host global summit to turn the dial on world hunger

UK to host global summit to turn the dial on world hunger
  • The UK will host a global food security summit with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) to galvanize action to tackle hunger and malnutrition.
  • It will focus on the best of science and innovation to prevent food insecurity and malnutrition.
  • Nearly one billion people worldwide do not have enough to eat and 345 million face acute hunger and starvation.

The UK will gather governments, international organisations, scientists, NGOs and the private sector on 20 November for a reset moment on the global food security crisis.

Speaking at the G20, the Prime Minister announced today (8 September) that leading experts will come together to tackle the causes of food insecurity and malnutrition, including through cutting edge UK funded science and technology, at an event in London.

Climate change, conflict, the long-term impacts of Covid-19 and the effects on global food supply of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine are the main drivers of current food insecurity.

Russia’s decision to withdraw from the Black Sea Grain Initiative (BSGI) last month, a UN plan to ensure food and fertilizers could leave Ukrainian ports, has reduced global grain supply at a critical time for vulnerable people around the world and contributed to further market volatility – when prices rise, the poorest pay.

The UK-hosted summit will explore how innovation, partnerships and the latest technological advances can ensure long term food security and improved nutrition for people in the hardest-hit countries.

It will focus on:

  • New approaches to tackle preventable deaths of children.
  • Building a climate-resilient and sustainable food system.
  • Supporting early action to prevent and reduce the impact of humanitarian crises.
  • Using science and technology to boost food security.

Through the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office’s science and research partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the UK is helping to find solutions to address global food and climate challenges – including more nutritious, resilient crop varieties and innovation to tackle pests and diseases.

Through the Child Nutrition Fund (CNF), the UK is already leading an innovative way of tackling child wasting and famine in some of the most vulnerable countries in the world.

Severe wasting, the most severe form of malnutrition, is responsible for one in five deaths of children under five. The CNF is scaling up prevention and treatment services in countries with the greatest need such as Malawi.

Notes to editors:

  • Nearly 1 billion people worldwide experience severe levels of food insecurity and regularly do not have enough food to eat. Some 345 million are acutely food insecure, in need of humanitarian assistance to survive and save their livelihoods.
  • More than one in three people globally cannot afford a healthy, nutritious diet, with women and girls worst affected. The number of children under five suffering from acute malnutrition is estimated to have risen to 60 million last year, and this preventable, life-threatening condition remains the single biggest contributor to childhood deaths.
  • The 60m figure for child wasting is a modelled estimate by the Standing Together for Nutrition consortium and published in Nature magazine.

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