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G8 Background Policy Brief FINAL FS-AG-N 3-5-12

G8 Background Policy Brief FINAL FS-AG-N 3-5-12

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Published by: InterAction on Mar 13, 2012
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Food Security, Agriculture andNutrition
March 2012
G8 Background Policy Brief
Please address commentsand questions to:
John Ruthrauff
 Director ofInternational AdvocacyInterAction jruthrauff@interaction.org1.202.552.6523
Sue Pleming
Senior Director,CommunicationsInterActionspleming@interaction.org1.202.341.6523
Steven Rocker
Senior Advocacy andResearch AssociateInterActionsrocker@interaction.org1.202.552.6559Comments and questionson specificrecommendations shouldbe addressed to thefollowing individual(s):
Dan Desai Martin
Associate Director, PublicPolicy & AdvocacySave the Childrenddesaimartin@savechildren.org1.202.640.6784
www.InterAction.org1400 16th Street, NWSuite 210Washington, DC 20036202.667.8227
The U.S. G8/G20 Task Force urges G8 leaders to implement the following recommendations atthe May summit in Chicago, Ill. As the largest association of U.S.-based, non-profitorganizations, InterAction, its members, and allies seek to address the impact of global poverty.The current financial crisis has had a serious impact on commitments made by G8 members todeveloping nations. Through strong actions and a commitment to greater transparency, the G8should leverage good governance efforts by its partners and remove impediments to economicgrowth.Recognizing that the 2015 deadline for the Millennium Development Goals is approachingrapidly, G8 leaders should commit to a Chicago Food Security, Agriculture, and NutritionSecurity Initiative that would build upon, revitalize and improve the commitments made at
L’Aquila in 2009. They should reaffirm their commitment to the Rome Principles, improve theL’Aquila Initiative’s transparency and accountability, and reinvigorate L’Aquila through a results
-oriented focus on achieving ambitious impact targets through country agricultural investmentplans and complementary investments in nutrition. To accomplish this, leaders should begin by
meeting their outstanding L’Aquila financial pledges by the end of 2012. Moving forward,
leaders should make a new financial pledge for the three-year period 2013-2015, prioritizingmalnutrition, women small-scale farmers, and sustainable agricultural practices..
Summary of Recommendations
As a part of this commitment, the G8 nations should:1.
Pledge not less than $30 billion for food security, agriculture and nutrition over thethree-year period 2013-2015
to meet the needs outlined in country agricultural investmentplans and to ensure a robust impact on reducing chronic malnutrition.2.
Prioritize support for investments in agriculture and food security
that benefit womensmall-scale farmers; employ climate resilient techniques; use sustainable approaches; integratelinkages to nutrition outcomes; and address the special needs and vulnerabilities of pastoralists.In addition, the G8 should prioritize interventions that address chronic malnutrition during thecritical window from pregnancy to age two.
3. Agree to abide by the Rome Principles andalign financing with recognized countryinvestment plans as the default option wheresuch plans are available
and encourage allother donors (bilateral, multilateral, privateinstitutions and organizations) to do the same. Incountries without country investment plans,donors should support partner country efforts todevelop new plans that address both foodsecurity and nutrition through multi-stakeholderprocesses with full civil society participation.
Ensure robust financing for multilateralmechanisms
so as to improve sustainableagricultural productivity, rural economicdevelopment and/or malnutrition such asGAFSP
, and theCAADP
Multi Donor Trust Fund.
In 2008, food prices spiked around the world as the globaleconomy plummeted, thrusting more than 100 millionvulnerable people into hunger and poverty on top ofalready existing and staggeringly high numbers ofmalnourished children and vulnerable populations, andcreating civil unrest as people rioted to protest the lack ofaccess to food.As leaders in the nonprofit field, we understand that theeconomic environment continues to be a hurdle to long-term development funding. However, now is not the timeto scale back on agricultural, nutrition and food securitycommitments. The recent crisis in the Horn of Africa hasprovided evidence both that need remains high, and thatprograms to blunt the worst effects of a crisis aresucceeding.In the Horn of Africa, millions of people are still sufferingfrom the ongoing food crisis. Yet in parts of Ethiopia andKenya, years of intensive efforts to prepare for a disasterhave paid dividends. While far too many people were stillaffected by the most recent drought, millions more werespared from the worst effects by cooperative efforts bynational governments and international donors to buildproductive social safety nets and long-term food security.
 As Secretary Clinton said in August, 2011, “The last time a
drought of this magnitude struck Ethiopia, in 2002 and2003, more than 13 million people faced starvation. Today,
fewer than 5 million do.”
6 Global investments ininfrastructure, agriculture, nutrition, safety nets, and earlywarning systems are paying dividends in the form of livessaved.The food price crisis brought with it a global focus on theneed to increase agricultural production. However, lessonsfrom the Green Revolution and more recent research haveled to an increasing recognition that simply producing morefood is not enough to bring about a healthy and hunger-free world. Investment in agriculture needs to be:combined with targeted investments in nutrition; focusedon women, who make up the majority of the world'sproducers; and resilient to climate change, which isexpected to hit the poorest countries the hardest.Nutrition is being addressed at both the highest multilaterallevel and the grassroots level through the Scaling UpNutrition (SUN) Framework. The SUN Framework hasbeen developed by specialists from governments,academia, research institutions, civil society, privatecompanies, development agencies, UN organizations andthe World Bank. It has been endorsed by more than 100organizations and was unveiled in Washington in April2010 at a meeting co-hosted by Canada, Japan, USAIDand the World Bank. The SUN Framework is designed tohelp national governments, civil society, donors, and theUN system to coordinate their efforts. The U.S.Government helped launch the 1,000 Days Partnership tobring specific attention to the nutritional needs in the critical
1,000 days window from pregnancy until a child’s second
birthday.In the world today, one child in four is stunted due tomalnutrition7, and in developing countries this figure is ashigh as one in three8. Poverty, malnutrition and diseasework in a deadly cycle. Poor children are more likely to bemalnourished, malnourished children are more likely tosuffer from disease, and the more they suffer from diseasethe more likely they are to be malnourished, which leads tolower productivity and poverty later in life. Inadequate foodintake leads to weight loss, and a weakened immune
system, which means that childhood diseases will be moresevere and will last longer. This in turn leads to a loss ofappetite, thus making the situation worse.However, recent research indicates that both agricultureand nutrition can lead to a wealthier and healthierdeveloping world. The World Bank has shown thatinvestment in the agriculture sector is two to four timesmore effective at reducing poverty than investment in othereconomic sectors9. The Lancet Medical Journal identifieda package of 13 interventions that were proven to have animpact on the nutrition of children and mothers in allcontexts, such as vitamin A and Zinc supplements, iodizedsalt and the promotion of healthy behaviors such as hand-washing and breastfeeding. This cost-effective andaffordable package could prevent almost two millionunder-five deaths, a quarter of the global total, and asubstantial amount of illness in the short-term if it was ableto reach the majority of children in the 36 countries that arehome to 90% of malnourished children.Investments in agriculture and nutrition should go hand inhand to bring about an end to global hunger andmalnutrition. To this end, nutrition indicators should beincluded to measure outcomes of investment inagriculture.As of 2012, the national governments of over 30 low-income countries have developed country investmentplans for the agriculture sector. Governments have hadplans vetted by their peers through the ComprehensiveAfrica Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP)process and through the grant application process of theGlobal Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP).Aligning donor investments with these plans representsthe best path forward for ensuring strategic coordination,country ownership and a sustainable impact on poverty. Intandem with agricultural investments, supporting nutritionaction plans and proven nutrition interventions in thesecountries, especially those that are disproportionatelyburdened with child malnutrition, will provide the one-twopunch needed for them to begin the Millennium on a pathtoward being sustainably healthy and hunger-free.For every five people suffering from hunger, three rely onfarming for their livelihoods. To sustainably improve foodsecurity, supporting small-scale farmers, women inparticular, is crucial.Gender-based inequalities at every point in the value-chainhave traditionally impeded the realization of food andnutritional security
. According to UNICEF women do 66percent of the world's work, produce 50 percent of theworld's food but earn only 10 percent of the world's incomeand own only one percent of the world's land
. In mostdeveloping countries women play a key role in thecultivation of food and cash crops as well as the nutritionalcare of their children and are therefore critical to food andnutritional security. Investment in women can lead totremendous dividends. Increa
ses in women’s education
accounted for 43 percent of the total 15 percent reductionin child malnutrition in the developing world between 1970and 1995
and providing women with equal access toagricultural resources, including land, has been shown toincrease yields in sub-Saharan Africa by over 20 percent
.In order to be sustainable, investments in agriculture mustincorporate not only the needs of small-scale womenfarmers but they must also be resilient to climate change.Climate change, which is already affecting agriculturalproduction, will be one of the greatest threats to food andnutritional security in the next generation. Climate changethreatens to reduce agricultural productivity by half in partsof sub-Saharan Africa
and cause yield declines and priceincreases for rice, wheat, maize and soybeans, leading toan increase in child malnutrition by 20 percent by 2050relative to a world with no climate change
. Therefore, it iscritical to invest in sustainable agricultural practices thatresult in climate resilient crops, in order to ensure thatinvestments can meet the long-term challenges thatclimate change poses.By scaling up efforts in these areas, the G8 can help leadthe way to a more prosperous and stable world.
Previous Commitments
The G8 has made several previous commitments tosupport global food security, agriculture and nutrition. Themost notable commitments were made at the 2009
L’Aquila summit, which included more than $20 billion in
new funding. But more than financial commitments, therehave been several notable policy commitments, including:

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