Monday November 20, 2023
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak (Peter Powell/PA)
The Government is due to unveil a long-term plan for international development as Rishi Sunak opens the Global Food Security Summit in London on Monday.Mr Sunak will also use a separate speech in London to update the public on the economic situation ahead of Wednesday’s autumn statement.
The Prime Minister will announce a new virtual hub to link UK scientists with global research initiatives aiming to develop climate and disease resistant crops.
A White Paper setting out the Government’s proposed approach to international development more broadly up to 2030 is also expected to be published on Monday.
The UK is hosting the summit in London alongside Somalia, the United Arab Emirates, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Mr Sunak said: “We must take action to address the underlying, and often unseen, causes of global food insecurity.
“From the impact of Russia’s war in Ukraine, to the effect of major natural disasters on food production, I am proud that alongside our partners, the UK is playing a leading role in finding solutions to some of the greatest global challenges of our time.”
"Cutting edge science and innovative partnerships will help Britain create a healthier, more secure and prosperous world for us all" International development minister Andrew Mitchell
The Prime Minister is expected to announce additional support for the international child nutrition fund.
UK support for child malnutrition will also match pound for pound the amount the worst affected countries including Uganda, Ethiopia and Senegal invest of their own resources in tackling the issue, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) said.
Up to £100 million in humanitarian funding is being released to countries worst hit by food insecurity including Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan and Afghanistan, and to countries impacted by climate-related weather events such as Malawi, the FCDO said.
Lisa Nandy, Labour’s shadow cabinet minister for international development, said: “Rishi Sunak is the Chancellor who abolished DFID (Department for International Development) and slashed aid spending, costing lives and trashing Britain’s reputation as the gold standard in international development. Asking him to repair the damage is like calling on the arsonist to put out the fire.
“On nutrition alone, his decisions contributed to food rations for 440,000 Kenyan refugees being reduced to 52% of the basic food need.”
International development minister Andrew Mitchell said: “Many children go to bed hungry and malnourished.
“At this summit, the UK and its partners will be united in our determination to change that. Cutting edge science and innovative partnerships will help Britain create a healthier, more secure and prosperous world for us all.
“Today we will launch the UK international development White Paper, setting out our long-term vision for addressing critical global challenges, including preventing and treating child wasting, through new partnerships and sources of finance.
“The Global Food Summit is a practical example of how we are already working to make that vision happen.”
The FCDO says the international development White Paper’s priorities include mobilising international finance, reforming the international system, harnessing innovation, and putting women and girls centre stage.
It will also set out how the UK will go beyond giving aid money and instead work in partnerships with countries to tackle extreme poverty and climate change, the Government said.