To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the report published by Oxfam entitled The Hunger Virus Multiplies, published on 9 July 2021, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the finding in that report that 20 million more people have been pushed to extreme levels of food insecurity in 2021.
COVID-19 is making an already bad food security situation worse and dozens of countries are in or at risk of a generalised food security crisis. As Oxfam's report states, 2020 saw a sharp increase in severe hunger in countries affected by conflict, and according to latest estimates, the number of people at emergency levels of food insecurity in 2021 has risen further to 41 million.
Humanitarian preparedness and response is one of the seven priority areas for the UK's aid budget this year. FCDO will spend £906 million to maintain the UK's role as a force for good at times of crisis, focusing on those countries most affected by risk of famine. We are combining this funding with our diplomatic and aid expertise: following our 2020 Call to Action to Prevent Famine, our Presidency this year secured the G7's first ever Compact to tackle the drivers of famine. In addition, we have adapted many of our programmes to address impacts of COVID-19 and the longer-term climate crisis. For example, the UK co-chaired multilateral Global Agriculture and Food Security Program has adapted its portfolio to mitigating COVID-19 impacts and to deliver a greener recovery in the poorest countries most affected by the triple threat.