UN Secretary-General Report Describes International Progress on Combating Food Insecurity

8 August 2011: A report of the UN Secretary-General titled "Agriculture Development and Food Security: progress on the implementation of the outcomes of the World Summit on Food Security," has been released in preparation for the 66th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA).

The report describes the role of higher and volatile food and fuel prices, political conflict and underinvestment in agriculture, food and nutrition, which have left the international community behind food security goals. It points to the lack of social safety nets in many countries, noting that long-term investments in sustainable agriculture are not occurring quickly enough. The report calls for intensifying country-led responses, and suggests that lack of investment from donors and limited credit are hampering efforts.

It notes that over 38 million people were displaced by climate-related disasters in 2010, and that climate change could lead to 24 million more malnourished children. The report further stresses the importance of short-term safety nets for nutrition interventions and emergency food assistance, underlining that long-term efforts are currently inadequate. It calls for market-based solutions and the development of agriculture value chains, early warning systems, urban-rural linkages, building consultations with stakeholders and better natural resources management.

The report outlines approaches for strategic coordination, including: implementing the High level Task Force on Global Food Security's (HLTF) Updated Comprehensive Framework for Action; fulfilling the goals of the L'Aquila Food Security Initiative; building on efforts of the G-20; supporting the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program administered by the World Bank; reforming the Committee on World Food Security; reforming the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR); investing in the Scaling Up Nutrition Movement; and strengthening collaboration among the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Food Programme (WFP). The report received inputs from the Secretary-General's HLTF, as well as contributions from the FAO, IFAD, WFP, and the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). [Publication: Agriculture Development and Food Security: Progress on the Implementation of the Outcome of the World Summit on Food Security]