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UK Unveils Virtual Science Hub to Tackle Global Food Insecurity

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In a groundbreaking announcement at the Global Food Security Summit, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak revealed the launch of a virtual science hub dedicated to developing climate-resilient crops and addressing risks to global food systems. Led by CGIAR, a global research partnership, the initiative aims to strengthen international collaboration to combat food insecurity and malnutrition.

International Development White Paper: A Comprehensive Strategy for Global Challenges

Simultaneously, the UK introduced its International Development White Paper on food insecurity, emphasizing a holistic approach beyond traditional aid. The document outlines strategies to collaborate with nations to combat extreme poverty and climate change. It underscores the urgency of addressing climate change, conflict, the lasting impacts of Covid-19, and the fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, all contributing to the current global food insecurity.

The virtual science hub will serve as a nexus, connecting UK scientists with global research initiatives focused on developing crops resilient to climate change and diseases. Flood-tolerant rice, disease-resistant wheat, and biofortified sweet potatoes are among the success stories attributed to the UK’s collaboration with CGIAR’s advanced crop breeding.

Furthermore, the White Paper prioritizes mobilizing international finance, reforming the international system, harnessing innovation, and placing women and girls at the forefront to ensure equal opportunities for all. As part of its commitment, the UK is releasing up to £100 million in humanitarian funding to countries severely impacted by food insecurity, including Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan, and Afghanistan.

Child Nutrition Fund Receives Boost: A Step Towards a Healthier Future

During the summit, Prime Minister Sunak announced increased support for the Child Nutrition Fund, aiming to scale up assistance for breastfeeding, infant feeding, and healthcare. This initiative aligns with the broader goal of improving monitoring to better manage and prevent severe child malnutrition. Notably, the UK’s support will match the investment of worst-affected countries, such as Uganda, Ethiopia, and Senegal, pound for pound, reinforcing efforts to ensure a reliable supply of critical food for young children facing the most severe forms of malnutrition. This initiative is set to have a wave of positive repercussions globally.

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