Ireland to support major UN conference on food systems in 2021
Press release16 October 2020
Minister of State for Overseas Development and Diaspora, Colm Brophy T.D., today announced that Ireland will contribute €1 million to the Trust Fund which will enable next autumn’s UN Global Food Systems Summit.
Speaking today at the launch of Concern Worldwide’s Global Hunger report, Minister Brophy said:
“I am delighted to announce Irish Aid support for next autumn’s UN Food Systems Summit. Ireland was among the first to call for this high-level event, which will explore the linkages between food production itself and the context in which it is produced – such as the linkages between food production and health or climate.
Ireland’s support is to enable key stakeholders, including Least Developed Countries, those experiencing conflict and, also, Small Island Developing States prepare effectively for the Summit. Their input will help ensure that the Summit outcome will deliver the change in global policies which these stakeholders need if they are to build sustainable food systems and make progress towards the Sustainable Development Goal of achieving zero hunger by 2030.”
16 OCTOBER 2020
Notes for Editors
- The Global Hunger Index 2020 launch event is taking place on World Food Day (Friday, 16 October). This is an online event to launch the 15th annual publication of the Global Hunger Index (GHI), a report jointly published by Concern Worldwide and Welthungerlife. Dr Mike Ryan, Executive Director WHO Health Emergencies Programme will be the Keynote Speaker at the event.
- The GHI is a tool designed to comprehensively measure and track hunger at global, regional, and national levels. GHI scores are calculated each year to assess progress and setbacks in combating hunger.
- ‘Food systems’ encompass all people and the entire range of actors and their interconnected activities in feeding a population: This means growing, harvesting, packing, processing, distributing, selling, storing, marketing, consuming, and disposing of food.
- The UN’s ‘State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World’ report, published in July 2020, estimated that 746 million people (9.7% of the world population) were exposed to severe food insecurity in 2019. Moreover, the Report warns that the impact of Covid-19 may add between 83 and 132 million people to the total number of undernourished people in the world in 2020 (previously estimated at 696 million).
- There is ongoing work within Ireland, led by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, to develop a food systems approach that seeks to ensure that the Irish agri-food sector can maximise its contribution to economic growth and exports, in an environmentally sustainable manner. This work will help inform and strengthen Ireland’s role in the Food Systems Summit.
- Ireland’s support for the Summit connects deeply with our tradition in international development cooperation of engaging in efforts to tackle global hunger, such as the Hunger Task Force. We are now facing a period where the number of people experiencing hunger throughout the world is again increasing. Food systems that can provide sufficient levels of nutritious food in an environmentally sustainable manner will be an essential component in reaching Sustainable Development Goal 2 – Zero Hunger.
- In 2021, the UN Secretary-General (UNSG) António Guterres will convene a Food Systems Summit as part of the Decade of Action to achieve the SDGs by 2030. By deliberately building on other ongoing efforts and events, the Summit will launch bold new actions, solutions, partnerships, and strategies to deliver progress on all 17 SDGs, each of which relies to some degree on healthier, more sustainable, and equitable food systems.
- The Summit will look for synergies between the multiple regional and national initiatives and alliances that already exist or are forming to support the transformation of unsustainable food systems. The Summit will also draw evidence and knowledge from all these sources to inform its global ideas and recommendations, and share this back with stakeholders around the world.
- The Food Systems Summit will provide an opportunity for Ireland to demonstrate leadership, both in terms of its domestic policy on sustainable food systems and in integrating food systems thinking into its wider foreign policy, including development cooperation