On November 15, 2023, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced a new science initiative aimed at addressing global food security during a press conference in London. The initiative, led by CGIAR, a global research partnership focused on food security, will connect UK scientists with research initiatives aimed at developing crops that can withstand the effects of climate change and are more disease resistant.
The summit being hosted by the UK government, which is attended by representatives from over 20 countries, is a joint effort between Britain, Somalia, the UAE, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Sunak emphasized the need to address underlying causes of global food insecurity during his speech at the conference. He cited events such as Russia’s war in Ukraine and major natural disasters as having had significant impacts on food production.
In addition to this new science initiative, the British government will also publish a new international development policy document or White Paper detailing plans to work with partner countries to combat extreme poverty and climate change instead of simply providing aid money. This document prioritizes mobilizing international finance and leveraging innovation according to the UK’s Foreign Office.
Furthermore, Britain will be offering humanitarian funding of up to 100 million pounds ($125 million) to countries most affected by food insecurity and climate-related disasters such as cyclones and droughts. This announcement reflects the UK’s commitment to addressing global food security through scientific research, international partnerships, and financial aid.