The UK Must Do More as Progress to Reduce Global Hunger Stagnates Amidst Climate Chaos

LONDON - Mercy Corps welcomes the United Kingdom’s leadership to fight hunger and malnutrition by organising the Global Food Security Summit, but calls on all wealthy nations to contribute their fair share in financing climate adaptation and commit to build sustainable food systems.

After years of stagnating progress, it’s unacceptable in 2023 that nearly 830 million people go to bed hungry every day. Urgent, systemic change is needed to turn the tide, with increased funding for climate adaptation especially for fragile and conflict-affected states, investments which support market-systems to be maintained despite micro-shocks, as well as greater focus on preventing crisis and investing in anticipatory action.

Harpinder Collacott, Mercy Corps’ Executive Director in Europe, says:

“Whether starvation comes from results of climate change or conflict, sadly the causes of hunger and malnutrition are not new, or in the news. Delivering emergency food assistance to crisis hotspots will not end worldwide hunger.”

“Rich countries, including the UK, have fallen short of paying their fair share in climate finance and must take responsibility. This support must be in the form of grants, not loans, in order to break this horrendous cycle of poverty, and reach those most in need.”

“The climate emergency is bringing with it disasters, poor yields, and even starvation. And yet we know these effects can be mitigated by early or anticipatory action. Supporting communities and farmers before an emergency strikes is the best way to stop the spiralling devastation of climate change and malnutrition. Currently, climate finance is not reaching those who need it most; our own research suggests that less than 1% of total adaptation finance flowed to the 10 most fragile states in 2021."

“We must aim for resilient and inclusive food systems that provide for the most vulnerable populations, including women, children and people with disabilities. Placing conflict-prevention and good governance at the heart of development policy will bring the difference that the Global Food Security Summit aims for. Anything less will not break the cycle.”

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