G20 Moving Toward Long-Term Solutions To Food Security, Financial Times Reports

Discussing the meeting of G20 leaders taking place this week in Los Cabos, Mexico, the Financial Times states, “Food security, long only a concern for aid advocates and farming ministers, is now hotly debated among G20 leaders.” Though food prices have stabilized recently, they are much higher than in the past, causing widespread food insecurity and leading to about one billion chronically hungry people worldwide, the newspaper notes. The “initial reaction” of the G20, and the G8, was to supply emergency food aid, “[b]ut as the era of high food prices appears to be here to stay, the focus of the G20 is slowly shifting from fighting the emergency to addressing the long-term problem,” the Financial Times writes.

Beginning in 2009 with the L’Aquila Food Security Initiative, the G20 is moving toward longer-term investment in agriculture, particularly in Africa, the newspaper notes, adding that the U.S. is pushing private sector investment. The newspaper states, “But the shift from public support to greater involvement by the private sector has its critics. Campaigners are worried that the poorest areas in Africa will be forgotten. The reality is that, without private investment, public money may not reach those same countries either, because of budgetary constraints” (Blas, 6/18).