G7 ministerial meeting: FAO proposes five urgent measures to tackle global food crisis
24 June 2022, Rome - Qu Dongyu, Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), today attended the G7 Ministerial Meeting on Action in Solidarity for Global Food Security and proposed five urgent measures to stop the global food crisis , to promote the transformation of agri-food systems.
Director-General Qu pointed out that the state of global food security and agri-food systems face serious threats from the COVID-19 pandemic, disruptions to global supply chains and rising costs of key primary commodities, the war in Ukraine, and the top ten other serious conflicts and humanitarian crises in the world. . At the same time, the long-term downward trend in investment in agri-food systems, coupled with factors such as climate change and population growth, has further exacerbated the situation.
Director-General Qu said: "The current food access crisis and the next season's food supply crisis are serious risks that we need to address urgently."
In this regard, Director-General Qu proposed the following key measures and pointed out that they should be implemented as soon as possible:
First, invest in countries most affected by rising food prices. In addition to food aid, supporting local production of nutritious food is also critical. However, currently only 8 percent of food security-related funds of all funding to support emergency operations and crisis assistance go to assisting agricultural production.
Second, Director-General Qu called for increased support for the Multi-Partner Initiative of the Integrated Food Security Stage Classification, improved food security and nutrition status analysis and decision-making, and expanded country coverage.
The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification provides information on the magnitude and severity of food insecurity and famine situations. In 2021, the G7 recognized the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification as the "gold standard" for food security analysis, emphasizing its role as a key pillar in the global response to hunger. Director-General Qu noted that the initiative’s “coverage needs to be increased from 46 countries to at least 84 countries that are facing challenges.”
Third, countries need to strengthen policies to improve the productivity, efficiency, resilience and inclusiveness of agri-food systems. Director-General Qu said the work would require a lot of money, estimated to be equivalent to 8 percent of the market size of agricultural products. Investments should cover hardware infrastructure, value chain infrastructure, innovation, new technologies and digitally inclusive infrastructure.
Fourth, reducing food loss and waste can help improve food security and nutrition. Currently, the amount of food lost and wasted each year is equivalent to the food rations of about 1.26 billion people. Director-General Qu emphasized that "if we can cut losses and waste in half, we can provide enough fruits and vegetables for everyone." this goal.
Fifth, ensuring better and more efficient use of fertilizers is key. There is an urgent need for all key partners to work in concert to deliver the fertilizer farmers need in a timely manner. Director-General Qu urged countries to improve the efficiency of fertilization, adjust measures to local conditions and adapt to local farming systems. For example, the rapid development and adoption of a summary map of soil information to support the most vulnerable countries to improve fertilization efficiency.
Qu also said that it is imperative to ensure that the global trading system remains open, which helps maintain market transparency and stabilize prices. He reiterated FAO's continued commitment to improving global market transparency through the Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS), an important tool for boosting confidence in global markets.
The meeting was hosted by the German government and chaired by German Foreign Minister Annalena Berberke and Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development Svenia Schulze. The meeting was attended by ministers and representatives from the G7, key members of the United Nations Global Crisis Response Team, key donor countries, the most vulnerable and most affected countries, as well as leaders from international organizations such as the United Nations and civil society.