Our global food systems are fragile, and governments must invest more into transforming food systems. That is the message of 15 major philanthropies and organisations to COP27 President Minister Sameh Hassan Shoukry in an open letter published this week.
‘Globally, we are facing the worst food crisis in decades: over 20 million people are at the brink of famine and 345 million people are facing acute food insecurity. The war in Ukraine plus extreme weather have revealed the fragility and inequality in the global food systems on which we rely,’ the letter reads.
‘Clearly, these food systems are not meeting people’s most basic needs. The need to change how we produce, trade and consume food has never been clearer or more urgent — especially in the context of our changing climate.’
Signatories of the open letter include: The Global Alliance for the Future of Food, African Climate Foundation, European Climate Foundation, IKEA Foundation, McKnight Foundation, Porticus, and others. All are philanthropic organisations funding work on food and agriculture.
According to the signatories of the letter, food systems contribute a third of global greenhouse gas emissions – but only three per cent of climate finance goes to food systems action. At COP27, it is expected that the Food and Agriculture for Sustainable Transformation (FAST) initiative will launch, bringing much needed climate intervention to the food and agriculture space, but ‘more is needed’, state the signatories.
‘Food is an undeniable human right. We have seen recently how fragile our global food systems are, how quickly external shocks — climate impacts or otherwise — can cause food prices to spike and access to food to plummet. We urge you to bring food systems into the spotlight at COP27 and beyond, as the solution we cannot afford to ignore’, the letter states.