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PLATFORM | 15. JUNE 2022 | HYBRID EVENT, IFAD HEADQUARTERS, ROME, ITALY

Co-sponsored by the European Commission,
the International Fund for Agricultural Development and
the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development.

Panel

Jim Barnhart

Assistant to the Administrator, Bureau for Resilience and Food Security, USAID

Beth Dunford

Vice President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development, African Development Bank (AfDB)

Gabriel Ferrero de Loma-Osorio

Chairperson of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) and Ambassador at Large for Global Food Security, Spain

Celine Jurgensen

Ambassador and Permanent Representative for France to the United Nations agencies in Rome

Sebastian Lesch

Head of Division, Sustainable Agricultural Supply Chains, International Agricultural Policy, Agriculture, Rural Development, Innovation, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany

David Nabarro

UN Global Crisis Response Group, Food workstream co-lead and Strategic Director of 4SD

Satu Santala

Associate Vice-President, External Relations and Governance Department, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

Moderator

Henry Bonsu

Journalist and Broadcaster

High-Level Session –Building Consensus and Coordination on the Current Global Crisis Response Initiatives: The potential role of Donors and the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development

The 2022 Annual General Assembly special session

The Global Donor Platform’s 2022 Annual General Assembly (AGA) was held on 14 and 15 June 2022 at IFAD headquarters in Rome, Italy, under the theme “Implementing National Pathways for Food Systems Transformation to Accelerate Progress Towards the SDGs in Times of Crisis and Conflict”. The AGA sessions focused on how donor coordination and alignment can be targeted to support food systems transformation and the achievement of the SDGs, in a context where agricultural value chains and food production are being severely hampered globally by climate change, the COVID pandemic, increased cost of inputs, and several conflicts, including the recent war in Ukraine. In this extraordinary situation, the AGA included a special high-level session to provide a discussion space for current international initiatives working to support food security during the crisis. The high-level panel conversation focused on the alliance of mechanisms, risk assessments, and the role of donor architecture for coordination.

Background

The COVID-19 pandemic exposed the vulnerabilities of our global food systems, pushing hundreds of million people into hunger. While these shocks have finally started to fade, an even greater food systems crisis has erupted, stemming from the recent conflict in Ukraine. The impacts on the planting and harvesting season of this extremely fertile region, as well as the war-associated sanctions, are causing massive spikes in the prices of food, fuel, and
fertilizer. The disrupted grain flows are having dramatic short-term effects on agriculture and food systems, and without meaningful action, the medium and long-term consequences of this crisis have the potential to completely derail the achievement of the sustainable development goals (SDGs).

During the 2008 global food price crisis, soaring costs of food and agriculture inputs drove up to 155 million people into poverty in the Global South1. The price spikes were mostly related to long-term trends of reduced investments in agriculture, shifting dietary patterns and climate change, and the short-term impacts of increased agricultural commodities trading and demand for biofuels. These issues were, in many ways, also contributing to more recent rising prices. However, today’s crisis holds the additional burden of a major war in one of the most agriculturally productive regions in the world.

Bilateral and multilateral donors and philanthropic foundations are facing these current challenges with vast experience and lessons learned from previous crisis responses. In 2008, there was extensive, yet fragmented and uncoordinated donor support for emergency measures to address food insecurity. While this was partly effective in tackling the immediate situation, the emphasis on these short-term measures meant that longer-term investments were ignored, which played a part in the lead-up to today’s emergency. Indeed, the present crisis is far more severe than the last, with the possibility of dramatic increases in hunger and poverty in the short-term and severe consequences for economic growth and development in the medium- and long-term.

The session discussed

  • How can the current donors’ crisis response initiatives include both the necessary emergency measures to prevent immediate hunger and poverty, while keeping substantial focus on the medium- and long-term goal of resilience in food systems?

  • How can donors ensure that their initiatives are sufficient to address the continuously increasing disruption of food, fuel, and fertilizer flows, and the resulting negative impacts on food security?

  • How can donors ensure the coordination and harmonization required to amplify the objectives and results of their various initiatives?

  • How can mechanisms such as the Global Donor Platform, along with its members and other stakeholders, ensure that dialogue and consensus-building are promoted and used to inform other forums, such as the G7, G20 and others?

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