Overseas Aid

Department for International Development written question – answered on 15th June 2020.

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Photo of Baroness Goudie Baroness Goudie Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to address (1) the medium-term, and (2) the longer-term, threats to food security and hunger from (a) COVID-19, (b) locusts, and (c) climate change, in fragile and conflict affected places; and, in particular, what steps they are taking to address the locust outbreak in East Africa.

Photo of Baroness Sugg Baroness Sugg The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

The UK is one of the biggest humanitarian donors globally and, through our programmes, are working with partners such as the World Food Programme, UNICEF and OCHA to provide food to millions of people. As well as emergency assistance, we are working to tackle longer-term food insecurity and malnutrition.

The COVID-19 pandemic is negatively impacting food security, particularly in countries with high hunger figures, climate vulnerability and fragility or conflict. The UK is working with international partners to better track, monitor and respond to the impact of COVID-19 on food security. We have adapted our social protection, agriculture and food security programmes in highly climate-vulnerable and fragile countries to respond to COVID-19-related challenges. Responses will strengthen resilience of food and agriculture systems in the current crisis but also against longer-term climate shocks and stresses. UK support includes provision of expert advice to governments and partners.

The UK is a key contributor to the UN Global Humanitarian Response Plan, which is supporting the most vulnerable, including refugees, displaced people, and migrants during this pandemic. Through this support, UK partners, such as the World Food Programme, continue to ensure essential commodities and services, and pre-position food supplies for those most in need.

We are deeply concerned about the locust outbreak in Africa and South Asia. We are supporting the UN Food and Agriculture Office on locust control as well as providing livelihoods support to those already impacted by the outbreak.

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