recognise that food security is a global concern. Millions of people world-wide
are at risk of starvation, of which over 40 million are in Africa. This
situation derives not only from climatic conditions and natural disasters
but from more structural causes, such as chronic poverty, lack of an enabling
environment and appropriate support for agriculture, HIV/AIDS prevalence,
an increasing number of conflicts, poor governance and economic management
and trade related issues. These factors are likely to cause recurrent
food crises and increase long-term food insecurity, notably in Africa.
While taking immediate action to avert the present peril of humanitarian
crises, we recognise the strong need for longer term solutions to food
insecurity, and are committed to working in partnership with developing
countries to address these problems. To address these issues, we are working
with the Secretary-General of the United Nations and relevant international
bodies to prevent and mitigate famine. G8 action to address famine in
Africa will take place within the framework of the G8 Africa Action Plan,
in support of the New Partnership for Africa's Development .
Famine is a preventable tragedy that requires the right policy tools to
respond to short-term emergency food aid needs flexibly and quickly, and
mitigate the effects of foreseen crises. It can be prevented in the long-term
by vulnerable countries adopting economic and governance policies and
institutional reforms that help to prevent the conditions that lead to
famine including a special focus on investment in agriculture. We are
committed to contributing actively to solutions in each of these areas.
In order to improve significantly the capacity both of the countries affected
and of the international community to anticipate and prevent famine, we
1. Meet emergency food assistance needs
1.1 We are determined to tackle urgent food shortages, through immediate
measures. Remaining shortfalls in Africa are currently estimated by the
World Food Programme in the range of 1.2 million metric tonnes. We will
improve the efficiency, timeliness and responsiveness of our own contributions
of food aid, cash and items other than food, and encourage and facilitate
contributions by other traditional and non-traditional donors to meet
emergency needs. We will work with governments, UN agencies, non-governmental
organisations, civil society and other parts of the international community
to provide the specific mix of assistance and types of programs best suited
to actual needs.
1.2 Since Kananaskis, we have delivered US$ 3.3 billion of emergency
assistance to address these humanitarian needs world-wide, including US$
1.7 billion for Sub-Saharan Africa.
We will address new needs when they are confirmed with appropriate aid
2. Improve assessment capacities, warning systems and prevention
2.1 We will support the strengthening of national, regional and international
capacity for developing accurate needs assessments as well as better shared
analysis and understanding of vulnerability and its links to food insecurity.
This should include appropriate use of common benchmarks and pre-famine
indicators that combine production with food access and utilisation/nutrition
2.2 We will support the review and improvement of early warning and
crop forecast systems as well as contingency planning at the national
and regional level, in order to increase emergency preparedness and response.
National decision makers will need to act on information provided in a
timely manner and commit sufficient resources to fund and staff such systems.
3. Increase aid effectiveness
3.1 We commit ourselves to more flexible and efficient approaches
to the use of aid in specific food crisis situations. Aid must be more
responsive to the needs of recipients, avoid distortions to local production
and not undermine local markets. We will utilise both food assistance
and cash to avoid or mitigate the impact of famine, taking into account
the availability of food locally, ability of vulnerable populations to
pay for food, and other relevant local market conditions.
3.2 Contributions should include as necessary non-food items (such
as seeds, tools, vaccines, medicines, school supplies, tents) and help
ensure that emergency non-food needs (such as water and sanitation) are
3.3 Alternative tools may be used when food is available, such as
cash assistance to specially vulnerable populations and "cash for work"
3.4 We will actively participate in discussions in relevant fora
and institutions that address food aid modalities, and promote flexible,
sustainable, efficient and responsive aid approaches while avoiding distortions
to local markets. This includes working to bring new donors and new approaches
to bear on addressing famine.
4. Longer term initiatives to address food insecurity
4.1 We will support integrated approaches and programmes to identify
and tackle the root causes of hunger and malnutrition.
4.2 Food security, rural and agricultural development must be adequately
addressed in the context of national development and poverty planning
as well as in multilateral and bilateral donor response strategies. To
this end, we deem it necessary to increase productive investment in rural
and agricultural development to achieve lasting food security. We undertake
to work towards reversing the decline of official development assistance
to agriculture and increasing trade opportunities for developing countries.
4.3 We are ready to support efforts by developing country governments
to pursue these aims, including through support of sound agricultural
policies at the national and regional levels, of development of farmers'
organisations, of productive investment in agricultural infrastructure
and inputs, promotion of food crops and of competitiveness of export crops.
We will encourage improved scientific resources and adaptation of new
and improved agricultural technologies including tried and tested biotechnology
for use in developing countries.
4.4 Since Kananaskis, we have committed US$ 3.2 billion to long term
agricultural and food security assistance, including US$ 1.4 billion for
4.5 We are particularly determined to intensify the fight against
HIV/AIDS, given the immense impact of this disease particularly in African
countries, especially on food production and other aspects of food security.
Food and related emergency aid distribution should also prioritise the
nutritional needs of those infected and the needs of vulnerable groups
most affected by the pandemic. Preserving familial and social structures,
or compensating for their disruption, is key to ensuring food security.
4.6 Good governance is vital for lasting progress on poverty reduction
and food security as well as economic growth. We will support efforts
by developing countries to establish sound political and economic governance
Building on the work of the G8 Contact Group on famine, we will work actively
to take this Action Plan forward in all relevant international fora.