As UN agencies today release new figures showing how the Covid-19 pandemic is driving rising levels of hunger globally, ActionAid is calling for small-scale food producers to be central to developing solutions to improve food security.
Alberta Guerra, senior policy analyst and expert in global food policies at ActionAid USA, says:
“The latest UN figures confirm what we see happening on the ground, hunger and food insecurity are increasing to alarming levels. Covid-19, conflict and the climate crisis are wreaking havoc on the lives of the world’s poorest people.
“The solutions to rising global hunger must come from those who produce most of the world’s food, particularly small-scale food producers, indigenous communities and women in the Global South. But their voices and expertise are increasingly being side-lined from UN processes, including the upcoming Food Systems Summit.
“Instead, powerful agribusinesses, driven by their profits over people and planet, are being allowed to dominate the conversation, promoting false solutions such as intensification of land use that continue to exploit natural resources, violate human rights, pollute and fuel climate change.”
ActionAid is calling on governments and international donors to invest in the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP), an innovative, multilateral fund set up to support smallholder farmers, which is currently facing a $1.2billion funding gap. Its new policy briefing, Advancing the rights of women smallholder farmers – lessons from Covid-19, finds replenishment of the GAFSP is key to supporting family farmers.