Rishi Sunak, the British Prime Minister, announced a new scientific initiative to tackle global food security during a press conference held in London on November 15th, 2023. The initiative will focus on developing climate-resilient crops and will be presented at the Global Food Security Summit hosted by the UK government. The summit is expected to draw representatives from over 20 countries, including Britain, Somalia, the UAE, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Sunak emphasized that addressing the root causes of global food insecurity is crucial. He cited events such as Russia’s war in Ukraine and major natural disasters as having had a significant impact on food production. The new science initiative will be led by CGIAR, a global research partnership focused on food security. This partnership will connect UK scientists with research initiatives aimed at developing crops that can withstand the effects of climate change and are more disease resistant.
In addition to this science initiative, the UK government will publish a new international development policy document detailing plans to work with partner countries to tackle extreme poverty and climate change rather than just handing out cash. Priorities outlined in this policy document include mobilizing international finance and leveraging innovation. Furthermore, Britain will offer humanitarian aid of up to 100 million pounds ($125 million) to countries most affected by food insecurity and climate disasters such as cyclones and droughts.
The announcement of these upcoming initiatives reflects the UK’s commitment to addressing global food security through scientific research, international partnerships, and financial assistance.