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At G-7, World Leaders Miss Opportunity to Right Size Response to the Global Food Crisis

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Statement by Kate Phillips-Barrasso, Mercy Corps Vice President of Global Policy and Advocacy

"As the global food crisis continues to spiral, the G-7 meeting this week in Germany marks another missed opportunity for global leaders to adequately respond to collapsing food systems that have pushed 50 million people into emergency levels of hunger.

"$4.5 billion dollars is just a fraction of what is needed to respond to worsening global food insecurity and avert starvation in countries facing hunger most acutely today. The figure is even more disappointing considering more than half of it will be provided through resources already approved by the US Congress last month.

"Countries like Somalia and Yemen were already inching closer to famine before the war in Ukraine started. Economic shockwaves from COVID-19, rising conflict, and recurrent climate shocks like drought in East Africa were already pushing the most vulnerable communities to the brink and unraveling decades of development gains. Now the war has added fuel to the fire, driving global price spikes and supply shortages that are hitting these same communities first and hardest, and threatening to push millions of people closer toward starvation and deeper into poverty.

"We've seen some recent financial commitments from G-7 nations, but they are a drop in the bucket in light of the scale of hunger being faced by people around the world. Furthermore, very little of these resources will be concentrated on strengthening food systems and preparing people for inevitable future global food shocks.

"Conflict disrupts almost every aspect of food systems, yet global aid spent on conflict prevention and peacebuilding is falling. At the same time, the climate crisis remains a key driver behind the uptick in global hunger and severe food crises, yet funding towards climate adaptation remains woefully inadequate. Many of the G7 nations have fallen behind on providing their fair share of international climate finance, a lifeline that can help communities facing the worst fallout of the climate crisis adapt and survive despite climate change decimating agricultural livelihoods.

"Financial investments must shore up food systems for the future by addressing conflict and climate change, and supporting local, climate-smart agriculture to decrease reliance on imports.

"On display this week is a failure of G-7 nations to understand the magnitude of global food insecurity and the urgent need to address this challenge through action to prevent and respond to climate change and conflict."