Blog post


2 min read
31 Oct 2013

Food Security

The report also considers that progress in food security was good. This is based mainly on the L'Aquila Food Security Initiative (AFSI), and on the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition. AFSI is aimed at supporting agriculture and food security initiatives on a large scale, and includes commitments to country ownership, global coordination, transparency and accountability. Taking into account the dimension of the problem of hunger - 870 million people are unable to get enough food to meet daily energy needs, and around 1 billion people suffer from micronutrient deficiency - $22.2 billion was pledged for the period between 2009 and 2012. But, though the entire amount has been committed, only $16.4 billion was disbursed by April 2013.

The New Alliance - launched in 2012 - is a commitment to lift 50 million people in sub-Saharan Africa out of poverty in the next ten years through:

  • accelerating responsible investment in African agriculture,
  • creating jobs,
  • raising smallholder incomes,
  • improving food and nutrition security.

Six African partner countries have joined. This initiative has a strong focus on private sector investment, with commitments from more than 80 companies having been received already. As remaining challenges, the report mentions integration of gender objectives and more measure of the impact of programmes on smallholder farmers. The report has come under strong criticism in this area. According to Oxfam, the non-delivery of a quarter of the funds pledged to the L'Aquila Food Security Initiative, and the lack of progress on public on public investment in agriculture show a lack of commitment to ending hunger. Furthermore, the New Alliance, which focuses solely on private investment, can hardly replace public funding, and its focus on corporate-led agriculture over publicly-funded small, farmer-led initiatives risks undermining poor people's land rights and access to natural resources.