ichael Elliott, President and CEO of ONE, issued the following statement on the new G8 food security plan announced at the Camp David Summit:
“The New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition marks an important step forward in the fight against hunger and extreme poverty in Africa. We thank President Obama for his leadership on this plan and his commitment yesterday to sustain the L’Aquila promises on funding and policy coordination. But we are disappointed by the lack of a firm promise by the G8 today to maintain such support.
“While some countries appear to have really stepped up to the plate, the G8 collectively missed an opportunity to build the New Alliance at the scale that is needed to get the job done. So while this plan is a bold beginning, it must not be the end of the G8’s ambition on food security and nutrition. The Alliance needs to be built out across the 30 developing countries with plans for agriculture if we are to meet the goals of lifting 50 million people out of poverty and prevent stunting in 15 million children due to chronic malnutrition. As we build on this year’s G8, ONE and our 3 million members will push for action on nutrition as we turn our focus to the African Union, which meets in Malawi this July, and British Prime Minister David Cameron, who will host the G8 Summit next year.
“ONE is disappointed that the Camp David declaration made no mention of the vital importance of transparency in the extraction of natural resources, and we look forward to the G20 in Los Cabos next month renewing its commitment to that important principle. The G8 is right to say that official development assistance is vital for poverty alleviation and to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. We understand these are tough times for many, but foreign assistance is a tiny proportion of national budgets and a smart investment in everyone’s future.
“The world’s poorest cannot be passengers on the global economy roller coaster. Country-led agriculture and nutrition programs have the potential to end the cycle of malnutrition and poverty once and for all.”