Rishi Sunak, the Prime Minister, opened the Global Food Security Summit in London yesterday (Monday, 20 November).
In his poignant speech at the conference, he underscored the severity of the global food crisis with a compelling statement: "It can’t be right that today in 2023, almost one billion people across the world regularly do not have enough to eat… that millions face hunger and starvation… and over 45 million children under five are suffering acute malnutrition. In a world of abundance, no one should die from lack of food. And no parent should ever have to watch their child starve."
To address these challenges, he announced the creation of a new virtual hub, aimed at connecting UK scientists with global research initiatives for developing climate and disease-resistant crops. The UK, collaborating with Somalia, the United Arab Emirates, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, hosted the summit.
Mr Sunak also used a separate speech in London to update the public on the economic situation, in anticipation of the autumn statement on Wednesday. Furthermore, the government was expected to publish a White Paper on the same day, detailing its approach to international development up to 2030.
The Prime Minister emphasised the urgent need to address the underlying causes of global food insecurity, highlighting the impacts of Russia's war in Ukraine and major natural disasters on food production. He expressed pride in the UK's leading role in finding solutions to these global challenges, in partnership with other nations.