Top UN officials today praised the recent $20 billion pledge made by G8 countries to boost food security in developing and poor countries.
"We are really pleased that food security is now back and central on the international agenda," David Nabarro, Coordinator of the High-Level Task Force on the Global Food Crisis, told reporters in New York. The pledge was made by G-8 countries at the recently concluded summit in L'Aquila, Italy.
"Countries themselves know they are going to be held to account over that pledge," he said, adding, "When you look at the figures, it represents a doubling in the commitment of developed nations to what has to be done in the area of food security and agriculture."
In making the pledge, political leaders had committed to a full range of food security issues, from tackling hunger which had surged because of the global economic crisis, to increasing investment in agriculture for the world's 500 million smallholder farmers, especially women farmers, to ensuring that agricultural trade benefited the least developed countries and their citizens.
That was a marked shift from the response to the 1974 food crisis, which had focused solely on industrializing agriculture and maximizing productivity, Nabarro argued.