Committee on World Food Security

Making a difference in food security and nutrition

50th Session of Committee on World Food Security Opens amid Multiple Challenges to Global Food Security and Nutrition.

10 Oct 2022

10 October 2022, Rome - With the world facing a worsening food and cost-of-living crisis caused by the interlinked shocks of the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and armed conflicts - including in Ukraine - the Committee on World Food Security is this week convening its 50th Plenary session (CFS 50), 10-13 October 2022.

Organized in ‘hybrid’ format, the Plenary started with a special ministerial-level segment to focus on the state of food insecurity in the world and on fostering coordinated policy responses to the crisis.

It will be kicked off by a discussion of the 2022 State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World report (SOFI), which indicates that as many as 828 million people were affected by hunger globally in 2021. This is an increase of 46 million people since 2020, and 150 million since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In addition, 2.3 billion people in the world were moderately or severely food insecure in 2021. This is 350 million more people compared to before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, almost 3.1 billion people could not afford a healthy diet in 2020, up 112 million from 2019, reflecting the effects of inflation in consumer food prices stemming from the economic impacts of the measures put in place to contain the pandemic. 

“We need transformative action to ensure that the world’s food benefits all people. Your ideas and policy expertise can drive change across food systems. You have the full force of the United Nations system behind you,” said António Guterres, UN Secretary-General, in a statement to the Plenary

In his opening remarks, Gabriel Ferrero, CFS Chairperson, noted that the realization of people’s inalienable right to adequate food is in jeopardy and called for urgent action to address current food crisis, coupled with long-term transformative actions.

“Coming at time of the worst systemic, multi-layered, food, cost-of-living and human development crisis, CFS 50 will be critical for advancing urgent and coordinated global policy responses in support of country-led solutions,” he said.

The CFS 50 session is also expected to endorse newly agreed Policy Recommendations on Promoting Youth Engagement and Employment in Agriculture and Food Systems for Food Security and Nutrition. Developed in an inclusive manner with diverse youth voices, these policy recommendations are designed to be tools and resources for use in shaping national policies, investment plan, legislations and development programmes that include the youth and respond to their needs.

In addition, the plenary will deliberate on the CFS’s strategic direction to accelerate action on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) especially SDG 2 on Zero Hunger. This will be based on seven key issues affecting food security and nutrition identified by a recent report released by its its High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE-FSN).

The issues include:

  1. Building resilient and equitable supply chains for food security and nutrition
  2. Strengthening urban and peri-urban food systems in the context of urbanization and rural transformation
  3. Conflicts and the fragility of food systems 4. Revitalizing climate policies for food security and nutrition
  4. Recognizing the role and rights of food system workers
  5. Building a meaningful interface for diverse knowledge systems, technologies and practices for food security and nutrition
  6. Emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases and other biological hazard events challenging food security and nutrition

The session will also kick off a CFS policy convergence process on Data Collection and Analysis Tools for Food Security and Nutrition, and review ways of boosting responsible investment in sustainable agriculture and food systems through a global thematic event, where the Committee will take stock of the uptake of CFS Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems (CFS-RAI).

On the last day, delegates will take part in Special Event organized by the CFS Secretariat on follow-up to the September 2021 UN Food Systems Summit, including sharing progress on implementing national transition pathways by volunteer Members. 

“We must remain committed to urgently transforming our global and national agrifood systems to increase efficiency, inclusivity, resilience and sustainability, to accelerate progress towards achieving the SDGs, said Qu Dongyu, FAO Director-General.

Hosted by FAO, CFS is a multi-stakeholder, inclusive platform where governments are joined by FAO, The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), World Food Programme (WFP), civil society, the private sector and other stakeholders to develop and endorses policy recommendations and guidance on a wide range of issues to address systemic and structural causes of hunger and malnutrition.  These are developed starting from scientific and evidence-based reports produced by the HLPE-FSN.

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