On November 20, 2023, the Global Food Security Summit convened at Lancaster House in London, gathering world leaders, experts, and stakeholders from across the globe to tackle the urgent issue of food insecurity. Co-hosted by the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, and Somalia, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), the summit provided a pivotal platform to galvanize action and secure concrete commitments towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal 2: Zero Hunger.
The summit aimed to galvanize urgent action to combat hunger and malnutrition, leveraging the power of cutting-edge UK-funded science and technology. It sought to elevate global awareness of the escalating food security crisis and intensify efforts to achieve Zero Hunger and eradicate malnutrition. The agenda focused on four key action pillars: nutrition, science and technology, humanitarian early action, and climate-resilient agriculture and food systems.
The summit commenced with addresses from UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, President of Somalia Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, UAE’s Minister for Climate Change and Environment Mariam Almheiri, Sir Chris Hohn of CIFF, and a pre-recorded address by Bill Gates, setting the stage for a day of focused discussions and action-oriented commitments. Representatives from over 20 countries, including Somalia, UAE, Brazil, Pakistan, Yemen, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Malawi, and Mozambique, actively participated in the summit, contributing a diverse range of perspectives and experiences to inform the global food security agenda.
The UK pledged £100 million to respond to food security crises in the world’s hunger and malnutrition hotspots, including Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan, the Sahel, Afghanistan, and Malawi. These funds will support critical programs that address immediate food needs and provide nutritional support to the most vulnerable households. Additionally, up to £100 million will be allocated to build resilience to climate shocks and ensure food security for the most vulnerable families in Somalia, averting future humanitarian crises. This investment will strengthen Somalia’s capacity to adapt to climate change and protect its food systems.
Furthermore, the establishment of the new CGIAR UK Science Center, a dedicated hub for cutting-edge research and innovation in agriculture and food systems, was announced. The center will focus on developing sustainable solutions to address food insecurity and malnutrition. An additional £16 million was also allocated to the Child Nutrition Fund, reinforcing the UK’s commitment to improving the nutritional status of children, a crucial step towards breaking the cycle of poverty and hunger.
Sir Chris Hohn of CIFF pledged $50 million towards a target of $500 million in new funding for the Child Nutrition Fund, which will support critical prevention and treatment programs for child wasting. The CIFF also committed over $100 million to build and equip facilities to manufacture RUTF and SQLNS, life-saving therapeutic foods for malnourished children.
Lostisland was represented at the Global Food Security Summit by Professor Aniebiet Inyang Ntui, who participated via video link.