Prime Minister Boris Johnson has today (Friday, June 24) committed £372 million to support countries most impacted by rising global food prices and shortages of fertiliser, including many Commonwealth states.
It is hoped that this funding with help provide immediate and longer-term relief to countries on the frontline of the food-security crisis currently being experienced, largely driven by the war in Ukraine.
"While Vladimir Putin continues his futile and unprovoked war in Ukraine and cravenly blockades millions of tonnes of grain, the world’s poorest people are inching closer to starvation," said Prime Minister Johnson.
"The government has put in place an unprecedented package of support to help the most vulnerable households in the UK deal with the rising cost of living.
"But it is also right that we step up to support countries on the frontlines of conflict and climate change, where an increase in the price of bread can mean the difference between a child living or dying.
"From emergency food aid to reviewing our own biofuel use, the UK is playing its part to address this pernicious global crisis."
The funding will be spread across multiple causes:
- £130 million for the World Food Programme, the food-assistance branch of the Unites Nations (UN), this financial year;
- £133 million for research and development partnerships with world-leading agricultural and scientific organisations to develop and implement cutting-edge technologies to improve food security, such as new drought-resistant crop varieties;
- £52 million for UN’s global emergency response fund, the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF);
- £37 million for the UN International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), to work with the private sector and governments to address poverty and hunger in rural areas of developing countries;
- £17.7 million through the FCDO’s Green Growth Centre of Expertise to improve the effective use of fertiliser and increase food production in countries including Rwanda, Kenya and Ghana;
- £2 million for the Nutrition Match Fund, which matches governments’ national spending on addressing wasting – the most acute and deadly form of child malnutrition - pound-for-pound. The fund was launched last November and has already supported treatments in Commonwealth countries like Nigeria and Mozambique, and the UK is encouraging other donors to step up.
"At least 140 million people across Africa are already suffering from food insecurity, and millions more are facing food shortages as a result of Russia’s illegal war in Ukraine," added Foreign Secretary Liz Truss.
"Putin is using food as a weapon on a global scale.
"The UK’s vital funding will provide humanitarian aid to increase access to food across the worst hit African countries, and help protect millions of people at risk from a growing global food disaster."