Rishi Sunak, the British Prime Minister, announced a new science initiative to address global food security at a press conference in London on November 15, 2023. This initiative will focus on developing climate-resilient crops and will be introduced at a Global Food Security Summit being hosted by the UK government.
The summit is a joint effort between Britain, Somalia, the UAE, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Representatives from over 20 countries are expected to attend. Sunak emphasized the need to address underlying causes of global food insecurity, citing events such as Russia’s war in Ukraine and major natural disasters on food production.
CGIAR, a global research partnership focused on food security, will lead the new science initiative. It aims to connect UK scientists with research initiatives aimed at developing crops that can withstand the effects of climate change and are more disease resistant. The British government will also publish a new international development policy document or White Paper detailing plans to work with partner countries to combat extreme poverty and climate change instead of purely providing aid money.
The priorities outlined in the policy document include mobilizing international finance and leveraging innovation. Moreover, Britain will offer humanitarian funding of up to 100 million pounds ($125 million) to countries most affected by food insecurity and climate-related 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 aid.