POWELL, Ohio — During the Berlin G7 Meeting in May 2022, the Development Ministers agreed to launch the Global Alliance for Food Security after Germany introduced it. As food prices rise because of different factors such as COVID-19, increased droughts and the war in Ukraine, the alliance will provide a concerted response to global food insecurity.
Before G7 launched it, Germany originally proposed the alliance to the World Bank. The alliance received initial support from World Bank President David Malpass and the World Bank is partnering with the alliance. The alliance has also received support from groups such as the Africa Union, U.N. Global Crises Response Group and the World Food Programme (WFP) and is seeking more partners. The alliance will shape the aid to provide unique responses to different countries in need by coordinating aid from various organizations.
The World Food Programme has warned that around 49 million people are nearing famine as varying factors are increasing food prices and causing shortages. Impoverished nations are more vulnerable to the effects of the prices and shortages, as export-demanded countries are experiencing the most challenges. For example, Lebanon and Ethiopia are dependent on Ukraine for their wheat exports. The war in Ukraine has disrupted wheat production, worsening the food security situation in these countries.
To address the rising global food insecurity, the Global Alliance for Food Security has short-term and long-term goals. Overall, the alliance will assist in coordinating aid from many donors, as it is sometimes difficult for the administrative structures in developing countries to organize incoming aid from many different sources. According to Euractiv, the COVAX initiative inspired this structure of the alliance since it combined public, private and philanthropic efforts to coordinate the equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines globally.
The German development minister Svenja Schulz, who proposed the alliance, said that the structure of the alliance will ensure that one country will not receive a larger sum of donations, while another receives no aid. The alliance will help with an equitable response to global food insecurity.
As Schulze said, it is important to act quickly to address the food insecurity that rising prices and shortages caused. In the short term, the alliance will work to increase food and fertilizer supply, remove trade barriers and provide additional financial support to countries in need, The World Bank reported.
For example, Germany has pledged €430 million in addition to what it gave for the alliances’ development budget, according to Euractiv. These efforts will provide developing countries with immediate assistance to address food insecurity.
While the alliance will provide immediate relief, it wants to work to change the current structures in these countries so they can be more self-sufficient in agriculture. With stronger food structures in developing countries, the food supply is not entirely dependent on the global market, according to German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development
For example, the alliance will review structural factors that cause food insecurity. With extreme weather such as droughts and natural disasters, adapting farming practices to these new patterns will assure that these conditions affect food production less. Additionally, the alliance will help countries transition into more sustainable agricultural practices, according to The World Bank.
With the recent launch of the Global Alliance for Food Security by the G7, the next step is recruiting other partners. As Schulze said, having more partner organizations will allow for a swift and effective response while working towards improving global food systems in the long run.
– Abigail Turner