British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has announced a new science initiative to tackle global food insecurity at a press conference in London on November 15, 2023. The initiative aims to bring together work on developing climate-resilient crops as the government hosts a Global Food Security Summit. The summit is a joint initiative between Britain, Somalia, the UAE, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and is expected to be attended by representatives from more than 20 countries.
Sunak emphasized the need to address the underlying causes of global food insecurity, including the impact of conflicts and natural disasters. To this end, a new virtual science hub will be led by CGIAR, a global research partnership, and will connect UK scientists with research initiatives to develop crops that can withstand the impacts of climate change and are more disease resistant.
In addition to the science initiative, the British government will publish a White Paper on food insecurity, outlining plans to work in partnership with countries to tackle extreme poverty and climate change. Priorities will include mobilizing international finance and harnessing innovation.
The government also pledged up to 100 million pounds in humanitarian funding to countries worst hit by food insecurity and climate-related disasters. These include Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan, Afghanistan, and countries impacted by cyclones and drought like Malawi.