18 June 2012 - As the leaders of the G20 meet on Monday 18 and Tuesday 19 June in Los Cabos, Mexico, ACF International is alarmed that agriculture, food security and nutrition, which featured prominently during the Cannes G20 summit, have disappeared from the top of the agenda.
As the G20 meet a major food crisis continues to affect 18 million people in West Africa, with millions of children’s lives threatened by malnutrition. ACF is calling on leaders to honour their commitments and to reaffirm a strong political will for tackling poverty, hunger and undernutrition across three key areas:
1. Rising and volatile food prices: While this issue, which has a great influence on families ability to feed themselves was a priority at the Cannes G20, the commitments made have yet to materialise. Real action must be taken to address speculation on agricultural markets and the production and consumption of biofuels – the two main drivers of rising and volatile food prices.
2. Family agriculture and nutrition: The G20 in Mexico will discuss increasing agricultural production and productivity. But this is not enough to meet the food challenges that the planet currently faces. Small hold family farms and farmers are rarely taken into account. Similarly, the need to include specific interventions for nutrition in agricultural policies and development is too often overlooked.
3. Financing of agriculture: The G20 should not serve as a gateway for private interests "under the cover of public initiative." Initiatives such as the "New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition” launched by the G8 in May, which gives weight to the private interests of 45 companies in six African countries, must not be at the expense of small producers, nor be an excuse for States not to provide the necessary political and financial commitments.
The promises of the G8 in L'Aquila in 2009 are far from being held: only 58% of the promised 22 billion U.S. dollars have been disbursed, only six months ahead of the end of the initiative. Mechanisms for traceability of funds also remain incomplete and often opaque. The renewed commitments should go along with a transparent mechanism for monitoring and accountability.
Today, the 20 richest states in the world should show their political leadership by promoting a transparent and regulated agricultural system, capable of ensuring the right to food and nutrition security. On the day of the Rio +20 summit, the decisions of the G20 are eagerly awaited.
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