On November 15, 2023, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak held a press conference in London to announce a new science initiative aimed at addressing global food security. The initiative, which will be 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 announcement comes as part of a joint effort between Britain, Somalia, the UAE, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to host a Global Food Security Summit. The summit is expected to be attended by representatives from over 20 countries and aims to address the underlying causes of global food insecurity, including events such as Russia’s war in Ukraine and major natural disasters on food production.
In addition to the 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 purely providing aid money. The priorities outlined in the policy document include mobilizing international finance and leveraging innovation.
The UK’s Foreign Office has stated that Britain will offer 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 reflects the UK’s commitment to addressing global food security through scientific research, international partnerships, and financial aid.