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S&Ds: No time to waste. The EU must play a crucial role to prevent Global South population from starvation


08 Jul 2022


Global Europe

The time for talk is over. The Zero Hunger ambition of the second Sustainable Development Goal is still far from being reached. Hunger and food insecurity are increasing across the world, also due to the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic and the Russian war against Ukraine, and around 660 million people may still face hunger in 2030. With the Report on addressing food security in developing countries, the EU Parliament calls on the EU Commission and EU leaders to play a crucial and decisive role to do everything possible to support the Global South in preventing this incumbent catastrophe. We cannot fail.

S&D shadow rapporteur, Maria Noichl, said:

“The Russian war against Ukraine has dramatically worsened the access to food for developing countries where millions of people are already today on the edge of starvation, especially in the Global South. We need to provide emergency aid immediately. This implies that every single shovelful of Ukrainian grain on the world market is essential to help alleviate hunger and support developing countries in achieving nutritional security, poverty reduction and sustainable and fair food systems.

“We call on the Commission to urgently put forward proposals to end financial speculation on agricultural commodities and to ensure market and production stability. Member states should immediately cover the funding gap in the 2022 UN humanitarian appeals for East Africa and the Middle East. What is more, we urge the Commission to prioritise food and sustainable agriculture in its international development programming.

“In order to protect developing countries’ populations from starvation, we also need to implement measures that give them access to affordable and sustainable food.

“This is the way forward to support, in the long-term, food sovereignty in the most affected countries. Only resilient and sustainable local food systems allow zero hunger worldwide.”

S&D coordinator in the development committee, Udo Bullmann, added:

“War, recession and climate change, these - along with the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic - are the man-made causes of the unspeakable suffering affecting the countries of the Global South. Hundreds of millions of people are starving and at risk of death.

“Specifically, we have to make food available in the most severe hotspots, especially the Horn of Africa. This means ensuring that the Ukrainian grain, which is blocked by Russia, is quickly shipped out of Ukraine and reaches those who desperately need it.

“Following the pledges of the G7 summit, the EU and its member states must review and realign their external policies. New financial resources are urgently needed, including debt relief programmes and the fight against tax loopholes that suck out the resources of African economies.

“We have to further the transition to self-sustaining and sufficient agriculture in Africa and support building up sustainable and self-reliant food systems. With 60% of the world’s arable land, Africa has enormous potential - we must enable it to thrive and finally unfold its potential. We must end dependencies from cheap and unsustainable products from the rich North competing with local production through unfair trade agreements.”