(09/06/2015) In the next 15 years the G7 want to free 500 million people from hunger and malnutrition, but ‘with partners’. That is the outcome of the Elmau communiqué. “There is now a concrete goal in the room, one that the G7 have committed to long-term. However, the statement must then be followed by actions”, says Ulrich Post, Head of Policy and External Relations at Welthungerhilfe. “This includes strengthening the rights of smallfarmers, creating income opportunities in rural regions and giving more support to ecological farming methods.”
The German federal government had been campaigning for a G7 initiative on fighting hunger, the development ministry in particular had pursued it with great determination. The original goal was, however, significantly more ambitious than the outcome displayed. “It is very disappointing that the language was watered down to such an extent. Despite this, it is still an opportunity for us to keep reminding the G7 of their own intentions over the next few years. The text must be quickly underpinned by a concrete and binding action plan, financial commitments and accountability mechanism. This is what we will be campaigning for,” says Post.
The G7 must not be allowed to use the ‘partners’ referred to in the communiqué as an alibi to avoid their responsibility. Together, they still make up half of the global economy and must thus make a correspondingly large contribution.
Statements on the fight against hunger fall short if they are not backed up with sufficient financial resources.
In contrast to depictions from the G7, development funds set aside for food security have been sinking continuously since 2010. If the G7 actually want to make their fair contribution to a world without hunger by 2030, they must more than triple their activities in this area. Private investments alone are not enough and must not be allowed to serve as a replacement for public funds.
“In terms of content, with the Elmau communiqué the G7 are changing course in the right direction. Instead of unilaterally focusing on private investment and production increase, as in previous years, they are also taking other important areas into consideration. Something to be welcomed, in particular, is the support and recognition of the World Food Committee. A genuine move away from ‘business as usual’ has, however, still failed to materialise. Furthermore, it is inconceivable that the human right to food was not mentioned even once”, commented Post.
Globally, there are still 800 million people suffering from hunger. Progress in the fight against hunger is increasingly small. If the current trend continues, it will only be in 2060 that we experience a world without hunger – and, thus, the adopted objective will miss its target by more than 30 years.
Welthungerhilfe is one of the largest private aid organisations in Germany. It provides aid from a single source: from fast emergency aid and reconstruction to long-term development cooperation projects with local partner organisations, based on the principle of help for self-help. Since its foundation in 1962, more than 7,350 projects in 70 countries have been supported with 2.66 billion Euro – for a world without hunger or poverty.