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Business News/ News / World/  How Russia-Ukraine war casts impact on food security for vulnerable populations?
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How Russia-Ukraine war casts impact on food security for vulnerable populations?

India's G20 Presidency prioritizes food security through the Global Food Security Summit 2023, focusing on sustainable agriculture and climate resilience. Geopolitical actions and conflicts can disrupt food availability and trade, highlighting the need for international cooperation.

A combine harvests wheat near Kramatorsk, in the Donetsk region on August 4, 2023, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Known as the world's 'bread basket', Ukraine grows far more wheat than it consumes and its exports contribute to global food security, especially in African countries, which now fear food shortages. Russia announced on July 17, 2023. It's withdrawal from the so-called Black Sea grain agreement allows safe passage for grain cargo ships from Ukrainian Black Sea ports, leading to a spike in grain prices that has hit poorer countries hard. (Photo by Anatolii Stepanov / AFP) (AFP)Premium
A combine harvests wheat near Kramatorsk, in the Donetsk region on August 4, 2023, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Known as the world's 'bread basket', Ukraine grows far more wheat than it consumes and its exports contribute to global food security, especially in African countries, which now fear food shortages. Russia announced on July 17, 2023. It's withdrawal from the so-called Black Sea grain agreement allows safe passage for grain cargo ships from Ukrainian Black Sea ports, leading to a spike in grain prices that has hit poorer countries hard. (Photo by Anatolii Stepanov / AFP) (AFP)

Under its G20 Presidency, India has prioritized the enhancement of food security. This commitment was showcased through the convening of the Global Food Security Summit 2023 in New Delhi, spanning from August 8 to August 9.

The primary agenda of the summit revolved around the promotion of sustainable agricultural practices, the reduction of reliance on imported food, and the reinforcement of resilience against the impacts of climate change.

In a conversation with LiveMint, Lisa Moon, who holds the position of President and CEO at the Global FoodBanking Network (GFN) and is also the organizer of the G20 Global Food Security Summit 2023, emphasized the critical objectives and pressing nature of ensuring food security. (Edited excerpts.)

How are G20 member countries and the guest countries collaborating at the Global Food Security Summit 2023 to address food security challenges on a global scale?

The Global Food Security Summit 2023 is comprised of officials, businesses and civil society members from across India. There are some representatives at the summit who are from nearby countries, like Nepal, as well as Indonesia and more.

The goal of the Summit is to raise awareness about the urgency of food security to encourage the Indian government and G20 countries to make this issue a centrepiece of the upcoming G20 summit in September.

By recognizing the importance of food loss and waste, India can play a powerful role in advancing food security in the world.

What specific initiatives or strategies are being discussed at the summit to strengthen local efforts in achieving food security goals?

Food security is a complex challenge that has multiple drivers, including conflict, supply chain disruptions, extreme heat and other disasters, and more. That said, the impacts of food insecurity are hardest on people at the local level, especially vulnerable populations, such as women and children.

One growing opportunity to address food security is through food banking, which is a time-tested approach that provides surplus food to those who need it while reducing food loss and waste.

Responses to food insecurity must be appropriate for the specific context. Food banks address related issues such as providing nutrition for school children. Food banks can also address gender inequity by providing job training and skill-building for women and marginalized communities.

Also Read: Russia exits UN-brokered deal for export of Ukrainian grain - What does this mean for global food economy?

In light of Russia's blocking of a grain deal, what impact does such geopolitical action have on global food security and the availability of essential food resources?

The breakdown of the grain deal in the Black Sea is a tragic outcome of the conflict that is causing greater food insecurity, interrupting the flow of grain to the international market and driving up food prices. The global community must stand together to accelerate an end to the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

How does ongoing conflict in certain regions of the world affect the ability to ensure food security for vulnerable populations?

Conflicts, whether in Europe, Africa or other regions, can impinge upon food access and disrupt international supply chains. When these conflicts occur in food-abundant areas, the toll can be severe and it is hardest on vulnerable populations who don’t have the resources to respond. This is particularly problematic given the multiple crises that are affecting food security around the world today. The G20 should be a platform to confront food security and take action to ensure that all people have access to healthy food.

How can diplomatic channels and negotiations be leveraged to ensure that food trade disruption?

Like other challenges that cross international borders, countries should work together to address food security issues. Countries should look for opportunities to advance common solutions that will benefit individual nations and help stabilize the global landscape.

How will the establishment of the food bank counter the ongoing challenges?

Food banking can be a solution that bolsters food security. Last year, food banks in GFN’s network helped provide food to 32 million people. Food banks also reduce food waste, increase resilience in communities and help avoid greenhouse gas emissions.

In addition, food banks play an important role in advancing many of the Sustainable Development Goals. We hope that leaders at the G20 will recognize this time-tested approach that feeds people and strengthens communities.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mausam Jha
A journalist covering International Relations, and Business.
Catch all the Business News, Market News, Breaking News Events and Latest News Updates on Live Mint. Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates.
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Published: 10 Aug 2023, 08:13 AM IST
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