Food Supply: Coronavirus

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 18th September 2020.

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Photo of Preet Kaur Gill Preet Kaur Gill Shadow Secretary of State for International Development

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of the covid-19 pandemic on levels of hunger throughout the world; and what steps he is taking to prevent levels of hunger from increasing.

Photo of James Duddridge James Duddridge Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

Food security has been deteriorating in many countries since 2015, due to conflict, climate change, shocks such as locusts, and economic slowdowns. COVID-19 is making this much worse and may also drive new hunger hotspots.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office has adapted development programmes in agriculture, nutrition and food security, to help reduce the scale of a major food security emergency, build resilience and prepare for a sustainable recovery. The Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office is working with partners to strengthen global food security governance, and monitoring and analysis.

The Foreign Secretary has appointed the UK's first ever Special Envoy for Famine Prevention and Humanitarian Affairs, Nick Dyer, who will work in partnership with other donors, UN agencies, non-governmental organisations and foundations to help prevent catastrophic famine. We are a leading donor to the UN Global Humanitarian Response Plan and working to ensure assistance reaches those most in need. This is in addition to a £119m package to combat the threat of famine.

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