Representatives of many humanitarian organizations are attending the Rome Food Security Summit, looking for concrete action plans to deal with hunger.
Magdalena Kropiwnicka, food and hunger policy adviser for ActionAid, attended the opening of the “hunger summit.”
“My impression so far is that there has been some progress in terms of actually acknowledging the need for reforming the global governance system on food security and the urgency with which that needs to be done,” she says.
Committee on Food Security
“Over the past six months, United Nations and all the governments who are members of the United Nations have been working very hard on reforming the Committee on Food Security. And now this new committee,” she says, “is the first time in which the UN forum can formulate hunger eradication policies, which also include civil society.”
Despite calling it a “very important step,” she says there’s no indication of how the revised committee will be funded.
“What is also important is that this is a single platform where all the UN food agencies, international financial institutions, governments and civil society can discuss and agree (on) policies on (the) global food system,” she says.
The new panel, she says, is an acknowledgement that the previous system was a failure.
Missing G8 leaders
President Obama is not attending the hunger summit because he is in China. A number of other G8 leaders are absent as well, including those from Britain, Germany and France. Those countries have sent high-level ministers.
“Let’s remember last year in June…we had a very urgent summit due to the food price crisis. And now,” she says, there is “a financial crisis, which has pushed an additional hundreds of thousands of people into hunger. And yet, those people who had showed up last year are not here.”
Also last year, G8 leaders, at the L’Aquila summit in Italy, pledged $20 billion dollars for security.
However, the ActionAid policy adviser says there are few details as to how that money will be spent.
“We also would like to see countries…prioritizing food security and establishing national coordination mechanisms on food security between different ministries,” says Kropiwnicka.