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Second Joint Statement by the Heads of FAO, IMF, WBG, WFP, and WTO on the Global Food Security and Nutrition Crisis – World

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Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Director General Qu Dongyu, International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, World Bank Group (WBG) President David Malpass, World Food Programme (WFP) Executive Director David Beasley and World Trade Organization (WTO) Director General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala issued the next second joint statement calling for urgent motion to handle the worldwide food security crisis.

The war in Ukraine continues to exacerbate the worldwide food security and nutrition crisis, with high and volatile energy, food and fertilizer prices, restrictive trade policies, and provide chain disruptions. Despite the reprieve in global food prices and the resumption of grain exports from the Black Sea, food stays beyond reach for a lot of on account of high prices and weather shocks. The number of individuals facing acute food insecurity worldwide is anticipated to proceed to rise. Fertilizer markets remain volatile, especially in Europe, where tight natural gas supplies and high prices have caused many producers of urea and ammonia to stop operations. This will likely reduce fertilizer application rates for the subsequent crop season, prolonging and deepening the impact of the crisis.

There was considerable progress in 4 key areas we had highlighted in our first joint statement. Announced or implemented social assistance measures across all economies quadrupled from 37 to 148 between April and September 2022. We welcome the efforts of the Global Crisis Response Group and the Black Sea Grain Initiative: through the Joint Coordination Centre, over 3 million metric tons of grain and foodstuffs have already been exported from Ukraine. We’re encouraged by the downward trend of trade restrictive measures implemented by countries and hope that the trend continues. International financial support to probably the most vulnerable countries is increasing from various initiatives. The World Bank is implementing its $30 billion program to reply to the food security crisis and frontloading resources from the IDA20 Crisis Response Window. The IMF is proposing a recent food shock window throughout the IMF emergency lending instruments. The FAO has proposed a series of policy recommendations and launched detail soil nutrition maps at country level to extend efficiencies in the usage of fertilizers.

Maintaining momentum on these fronts and constructing resilience for the long run would require a continued comprehensive and coordinated effort to support efficient production and trade, improve transparency, speed up innovation and joint planning and spend money on food systems transformation:

  1. Support efficient production and trade: Governments in all countries have to urgently re-examine their agricultural trade and market interventions, corresponding to subsidies and export restrictions, to discover and minimize distortions. Shorter interventions cause less harm than indefinite ones. Promoting the production of nutritious foods and repurposing the US$639 billion support per yr provided to agriculture by governments can transform food systems and improve food security and nutrition. Preserving open trade in food, agriculture, and energy can reduce price distortions that dilute incentives for efficient production. Countries should follow through on commitments made on the WTO’s twelfth Ministerial Conference to restrain export restrictions on food and fertilizers and put in place trade facilitation measures. We also welcome clarifications of relevant regulations to permit critical agricultural inputs corresponding to fertilizers to maneuver swiftly to countries in need.

  2. Improve transparency: Grocery store monitoring serves as a vital and efficient early warning mechanism and have to be supplemented with transparent tracking of financing by the international community to reply to the food crisis. Governments should provide essential data and resources to support Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS), which reinforces transparency in food markets through monitoring the costs and availability of major food crops and promoting policy responses. As well as, the Global Alliance for Food Security (GAFS) is harmonizing existing tracking systems in a dashboard to enable governments and country teams to discover needs and channel financing to reply to the crisis.

  3. Speed up innovation and joint planning: Agricultural research and development is a chronically underinvested sector, while it has one in all the best returns on public spending. Innovation is crucial for meeting the long-term challenges to global food security and nutrition posed by climate change, land and ecosystem degradation, pests, and transboundary plant and animal diseases. Disseminating best practices from FAO and supporting the Consortium of International Agricultural Research Centers (OneCGIAR) are essential actions to handle these challenges. Such efforts also needs to result in more systematic coordination and joint planning to attach short-, medium- and long-term opportunities and deliver support in a timely manner.

  4. Spend money on food systems transformation: Strengthening the resilience of food systems to risks, including conflict, extreme weather events, economic shocks and diseases is vital for the longer-term response. Addressing each infrastructure bottlenecks and input supply bottlenecks (e.g., fertilizers and seeds) are critical to an efficient food supply system. Effective and sustainable support to smallholder farmers will probably be vital to make sure they’re a part of the answer and to localize supply chains. The private sector has a critical role to play, and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) will establish a Global Food Security Platform that can provide working capital and longer-term financing for sustainable agribusinesses and related sectors within the food supply chain. Deeper integration of markets may help avoid price spikes of essential goods and drive economic diversification and job creation to construct overall resilience.

We remain committed to working together to handle immediate food security and nutrition needs, tackle structural market issues that will exacerbate antagonistic impacts, and construct countries’ resilience to forestall and mitigate the impacts of future crises.

Contacts:

The World Bank Group: David Theis, dtheis@worldbankgroup.org
IMF: Nicolas Mombrial, nmombrial@IMF.org
FAO: FAO News and Media, FAO-Newsroom@fao.org
WTO: Bernard Kuiten, bernard.kuiten@wto.org;
WFP: George Fominyen, George.fominyen@wfp.org

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