G8 Summit 'Missed Opportunity' To Make Real Commitment To Long-Term Food Security

“This G8 summit was, yet again, a missed opportunity for international leaders to make a real commitment to long-term food security and support for African and developing world farmers,” Eva Clayton, a former member of Congress and former assistant director general of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), writes in this post in the Huffington Post’s “The World” blog. “In the realm of food security, the G8 had an ideal opportunity to provide a clear solution that embraces trade and opportunity, a new paradigm if you will, in international development and food security,” she continues, adding, “Unfortunately, G8 leaders emerging from Camp David still spoke of the same old aid commitments without any backbone, all the while ignoring the impact that trade barriers and U.S. and European multi-billion dollar subsidies have on food production in those countries most in need of development.”    

Clayton writes President Obama “show[ed] great leadership in ending hunger around the world with the announcement of the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition,” and notes British Prime Minister David Cameron “has turned his eye toward hosting a hunger summit when all eyes will be on London during the 2012 Summer Olympics.” However, she states, “While these are both steps in the right direction, it is still not enough.” She writes that “unless real action is taken to enhance markets and provide incentives for people to invest in, and grow, high yield crops like palm oil, this challenge may prove to be out of reach,” adding, “Aid agencies’ true mission should be to empower and support farmers and food producers in developing countries.” She concludes, “[F]or now, our best path forward is to look to the private sector and African governments for leadership. Moreover, the real role of the West will be to embrace polices that are supportive of African countries’ decision to choose growth and development as a means to addressing food security and hunger” (5/28).