Rishi Sunak is to introduce a new initiative to grow climate-resilient crops at today’s (20 November) Global Food Security Summit.
The prime minister, who is to chair this year’s London-hosted summit, will reveal that the new virtual science hub will be led by a global research partnership, CGIAR, and will link UK scientists with research initiatives.
The aim is to develop crops that can tolerate the impacts of climate change and are more disease-resistant, in order to tackle the growing global food crisis.
“We must take action to address the underlying, and often unseen, causes of global food insecurity,” said Sunak.
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“From the impact of Russia’s war in Ukraine, to the effect of major natural disasters on food production… alongside our partners, the UK is playing a leading role in finding solutions to some of the greatest global challenges of our time.”
The UK will also publish a new White Paper on food insecurity, detailing how it plans to work in partnership with other countries to tackle extreme poverty and climate change rather than just providing aid money.
Alongside this new document, the UK will also provide £100m in humanitarian funding to countries most severely affected by food insecurity such as Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan and Afghanistan, and to countries impacted by climate-related disasters like Malawi.
The announcement at the Global Food Security Summit – an annual joint initiative between Britain, Somalia, the UAE, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and 20 other countries – comes amid the UK government being criticised by the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs committee for taking a ‘leisurely approach‘ to addressing the UK’s food security challenges.