Food security

A woman checking corn plants outside of Bangui in the Central African Republic

A woman checking corn plants outside of Bangui in the Central African Republic.

© Thomas Köhler/photothek

Over the past 15 years the number of people suffering from chronic hunger has dropped across the globe – thanks at least in part to the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals that were agreed in 2000. Nevertheless, there are still nearly 800 million people who are suffering from hunger. A total of about two billion people are suffering from micronutrient deficiencies. Infants in particular suffer damage to their health as a result of hunger and malnourishment, damage that cannot be reversed when they are older.

And yet, a world without hunger is possible! In a statement formulated as a result of an initiative launched by the German Development Ministry BMZ, the G7 announced at Schloss Elmau that, working in cooperation with their partners, they aim to lift 500 million people out of hunger and malnutrition by 2030. The G7 are thus sending a strong signal to the international community that we are living up to our responsibility as the world's strongest economies, not least vis-à-vis poorer countries. Our intention is also to contribute significantly to the Sustainable Development Goals that are to be adopted at the special UN summit in September. Hunger and malnutrition need to be addressed if people are to have any chance of living decent lives, and in order to give them the possibility to play an active part in their societies and economies.

We are making a point of focusing on people and thus on the impact we want to achieve. The means for achieving this impact will be increased efficiency, even better coordination among ourselves and with our partners, more targeted action, and using our financial resources in the right way.

In a separate annex to the Summit Communiqué, a broad Food Security and Nutrition Development Approach was adopted. The Approach outlines areas which are important for achieving th above-mentioned goal: focusing on an inclusive rural development approach, fostering responsible investment and sustainable agriculture, providing targeted assistance for malnourished children and women – one of the most effective ways of boosting empowered development – and improving our support for hungry people in conflict and crisis settings. The Approach was drawn up by the German Development Ministry BMZ and the other G7 partners working together in the G7 Food Security Working Group. It highlights the need to address many different areas in order to attain food and nutrition security. This goes beyond increasing agricultural production and encouraging investment in agriculture.

Through its special initiative ONE WORLD – No Hunger, the German Development Ministry BMZ has already significantly expanded its assistance in the fields of food security, rural development and agriculture. The aim of the special initiative is, firstly, to stop hunger and malnutrition among the current global population and, secondly, to make sure that future generations in a growing world population will also be able to feed themselves.

People currently suffering from starvation and malnutrition, especially infants and pregnant and nursing women, must have access to adequate, affordable and healthy food supplies, health care services and safe water. We intend to provide encouragement and support to our partner countries and help them implement the right to food. No progress can be made to address these issues in the absence of sustainable natural resource protection and management. (...) Resource use and its associated impacts are very unevenly distributed across different countries and demographic groups. The survival of poor and marginalised groups in rural areas depends crucially on access to arable land, pristine forests and clean water.

from the Charter for the Future "ONE WORLD – Our Responsibility"