Activists have sharply criticised a pledge by the Group of Seven rich countries on Tuesday to commit $4.5 billion to fight global hunger, saying the sum fell short of what was needed with millions of people on the brink of starvation.
The worst drought in decades in parts of Africa and soaring food prices, driven higher by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, have sparked repeated warnings about threats to food security of the world’s poorest and possible famines.
At the end of a three-day G7 summit in the Bavarian Alps, the leaders committed the $4.5 billion to protect the most vulnerable from hunger and malnutrition, saying that amounted to $14 billion of assistance committed this year.
They called on those with stockpiles to make food available and said they were working on ways to get grain out of Ukraine, after a Russian blockade of Black Sea ports pushed trade to slower land routes.
They also agreed to step up their efforts to help farmers to keep working in Ukraine, one of the world’s largest grain producers, and address fertiliser shortages.
But activists said the pledges fell short. They say millions more people at increasing risk of famine.
Christian Aid’s Head of Global Policy and Advocacy, Fionna Smyth, said: “The hunger crisis in the Horn of Africa is deteriorating quickly.
“Even though people across the region are on the brink of famine due to severe climate-induced drought and the war in Ukraine, world leaders have once again failed to act with the urgency and scale needed.
“Just like the $7bn committed by the G7 in the Famine Compact to end starvation just last year, there is no indication of where this year’s $4.5bn money is coming from or when it will reach people desperately in need.
“Chasing headlines doesn’t save lives.
“Equally, world leaders must tackle the overlapping nature of the climate crisis and global hunger by delivering on new climate finance.
“If the COP27 summit later this year is going to truly tackle the climate crisis, we need more than hot air to address loss and damage.”