In a press conference held on November 15, 2023 in London, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced a new science initiative to tackle global food security. The initiative, led by CGIAR, a global research partnership focused on food security, will connect UK scientists with research initiatives aimed at developing crops that are resilient to climate change and more disease-resistant.
The summit, which is being hosted by the UK government and attended by representatives from over 20 countries, is a joint effort between Britain, Somalia, the UAE, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. 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 as having had a significant impact on food production.
In addition to the new science initiative, the British government will also be publishing 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 solely providing aid money. The priorities outlined in the policy document include mobilizing international finance and leveraging innovation. Britain will also be offering 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.