G8 foreign ministers prioritize global health, agriculture and nutrition

Last week, G8 foreign ministers from the UK, Germany, Italy, Canada, Russia, the US, France and Japan met in Washington, D.C., to discuss how to increase global peace and security ahead of the G8 Summit in May.

G8 Foreign Ministers meeting
G8 foreign ministers earlier this week. Photo credit: US State Department

Traditionally, the G8 foreign ministers’ meeting focuses on topics like the war on terror and reducing weapons of mass destruction, but we were pleased to learn that the ministers will additionally prioritize smart and effective global health, agriculture and nutrition plans at this year’s Summit. World leaders can and should do more to get behind tested and affordable programs that will help break the cycle of preventable disease, malnutrition and poverty — and this commitment toward our issues is a step in the right direction.

According to a statement, here’s what they had to say on our various issues, followed by ONE’s position:

On agriculture: “Donor and partner government investments in agricultural development have proven to be one of the most effective means to promote broad-based economic growth, especially when they are nutrition-sensitive and target smallholder farmers and women.”

ONE calls for a greater sense of urgency and ambition. World leaders must take action by investing in country-owned agriculture and nutrition plans in some of the world’s poorest countries.

On global health: “The G8 supports the call for an AIDS-free generation and efforts to achieve universal access to prevention, treatment, care, and support with respect to HIV/AIDS. The G8 renews and recommits to supporting the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria on the tenth anniversary of its establishment and as the Fund adopts a comprehensive reform agenda.”

ONE calls for donors, the private sector, and developing country governments to step up and reinvest in the Global Fund.

Read our full statement on their communique here.