World Conference on Food Security: Addressing vulnerabilities is a priority

  Against the background of the continuous spread of the global food crisis, from September 28 to 29, the World Food Programme (WFP) and the Egyptian Ministry of International Cooperation jointly held the first World Food Security Conference in Cairo. WFP Assistant Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer Junia, WFP Middle East and North Africa Regional Director Fleischer, United Nations Office in Egypt Resident Coordinator Panova and other officials from international organizations attended the conference. According to a report on the website of the “Al-Pyramid”, this conference is regarded as part of a global effort to address climate change and its impact on world food security, and it is also the 27th signing of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in November this year by Egypt as the host country. Preparations for the Conference of the Parties (COP27).
Global food security faces multiple challenges

  The close integration of the two major issues of food security and climate change reflects the complex nature of global food security tensions and highlights the international recognition that climate deterioration is the greatest threat to agricultural production. In recent years, frequent extreme weather events have affected almost every region in the world, and the intensity and frequency of extreme weather this year is even more rare.
  This summer, many parts of Europe have encountered rare high temperatures, and severe droughts have occurred in major agricultural countries such as France, Spain, Italy, and Germany. The European Commission predicts that the output of major European cereal crops will be lower than last year’s level this year; The meeting said in early September that the drought will cause U.S. crop production to fall by a third from last year.
  Some low- and middle-income countries with already harsh natural environments and weak agricultural infrastructure are more difficult to withstand extreme weather events. The Horn of Africa, which spans Somalia, Djibouti, Eritrea and Ethiopia, suffered four consecutive rainy seasons with insufficient rainfall, causing nearly 20 million people to face severe food insecurity; Pakistan suffered the largest flood in 30 years, covering more than 800,000 hectares across the country Farmland has been submerged, more than 800,000 livestock have died, and thousands of people are threatened with starvation; the melting of glaciers in the Arctic and Antarctic has accelerated, causing sea levels to rise, and some small island countries are on the brink of survival.
  Most of Egypt, the host country of the conference, has a hot and dry tropical desert climate, and the area of ​​arable land is very limited. Egyptian agriculture faces unprecedented challenges as Egypt could lose up to 15 percent of its agricultural land by 2050, according to a study.
  However, climate change is only one of the causes of the food crisis, or the catalyst for the further intensification of this round of food crisis. Before the start of the extreme weather in summer, the escalation of the Ukraine crisis has torn apart the original international food trading system, and the impact of the new crown epidemic on the global food problem is far from dissipated. Historic high inflation is gradually overwhelming the central banks of many countries And consumers’ confidence, countries that are highly dependent on food imports have to face the difficult situation of internal and external troubles.
Resolving multidimensional fragility requires multidimensional solutions

  The current food crisis is accelerating due to the interconnected nature of national food systems. From the perspective of the world as a whole, the fragility of the existing food supply chain, food trade and food financial system has been exposed. From the perspective of low- and middle-income countries that have been more severely hit by the food crisis, this vulnerability is reflected in many aspects such as economy, society, science and technology, and people’s livelihood.
  This World Food Security Conference takes Egypt as a case study, but it is actually seeking a way out for the majority of low- and middle-income countries. According to the participants, three main themes should be focused on in light of the common development shortcomings in such countries: First, the development of agricultural technology, including eliminating outdated production methods, improving access to food, improving the economy of small farmers, and enhancing agricultural production to cope with various The ability to adapt to adverse climatic conditions and enhance the resilience of rural areas; the second is to strengthen the social protection system, including vigorously developing inclusive finance, broadening agricultural and rural financing channels, and giving grassroots agricultural units development momentum and anti-risk capabilities; the third is to promote the digitalization of agriculture Transformation, including but not limited to building a digital management platform for agricultural resource assets, developing an e-commerce market for agricultural products, and promoting digital upgrades covering the entire agricultural industry chain.
  But, as some observers say, these initiatives are somewhat far from quenching thirst.
  Taking Egypt as an example, excessive urbanization and increasing environmental pollution are dividing and eroding valuable arable land. Fragmentation of arable land is not only conducive to large-scale agricultural infrastructure construction, but also to large-scale agricultural machinery production operations. In addition to the more economically developed Nile Delta metropolitan area, farmers in many areas of Egypt are still relying on manual and animal power farming, and they are even less able to withstand the adverse effects of any extreme weather on agricultural production. Similar problems exist in other low- and middle-income countries, and the least developed countries in sub-Saharan Africa face an even more difficult situation.
  Therefore, the majority of low- and middle-income countries should probably protect existing arable land and water sources, control excessive population growth, optimize economic structure, fill institutional loopholes, avoid foreign capital withdrawal, encourage green investment and financing, and strive for international assistance as food protection under the current situation. Safe antecedents.
Unity and cooperation is the only way out of the predicament

  Food security is a fundamental issue related to the survival of all human beings. Developing countries are more vulnerable to the global food crisis, but this does not mean that only developing countries or countries facing huge hunger threats need to take action. The world’s major powers and countries with relatively strong economic strength should assume more international responsibilities, and international organizations should also actively play a coordinating role so that no country will be left behind.
  The slogan of this World Food Security Conference “Developing Partnerships and New Technologies to Enhance Food Security” illustrates the importance of solidarity and cooperation. The calls from many parties have injected confidence and motivation for the international community to get out of the shadow of the crisis. The spirit of the conference is to further deepen international cooperation. indicated the direction.
  First, developing countries should further deepen their cooperation within the existing framework of South-South cooperation to reduce the pressure on vulnerable groups. In this regard, China has shown the mind and responsibility of a responsible major country with the image of providing the most financial assistance, dispatching the most experts and carrying out the most projects under the South-South Cooperation framework of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. Obviously, this spirit of collaboration has inspired more countries. Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation, Almasat, said at the meeting that Egypt will strengthen cooperation with other developing countries through the Luxor Innovation Center to promote the process of agricultural modernization. Earlier, Egyptian Foreign Minister Shoukry also delivered a speech at the 77th United Nations General Assembly, announcing that Egypt will build a food storage and distribution center for the African continent to contribute to alleviating the global food crisis.
  Second, developed countries should take the initiative to narrow the North-South divide and avoid further deterioration of the situation of vulnerable groups. A serious consequence of the deepening global crisis is the intensification of the gap between the rich and the poor in the world, and the continued widening of the development gap between the North and the South. Since the food crisis this year, a large number of people in developing countries have fallen into hunger and poverty. In contrast, the four major Western grain merchants have made a lot of money because of high food prices. This kind of confrontation is dangerous. Before the food problem, all countries in the world will prosper and lose all. In a special period, all countries should work together to strengthen rather than weaken multilateralism.
  Third, the international community needs to work together to break down barriers to food trade and leave a “channel of hope” for vulnerable groups. Russia and Ukraine are the two most important wheat exporters in the world, and it is those countries that are highly dependent on Russian and Ukrainian wheat that are most affected by the current food crisis. The closure of export channels due to the war and the disruption of the trade system by Western sanctions against Russia are the main reasons why these countries are unable to obtain food supplements. The Ukrainian crisis still has no end in sight, the future is still full of uncertainties, and the international community needs to make more efforts. For countries with extremely low food self-sufficiency rates, restoring stable and reliable food import channels is the key to resolving the crisis.

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