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How the G8’s New Alliance is threatening food security in Africa? Two years ago, the G8 started the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition as a stated aim to enhance food security and nutrition and to help 50 millions of people in Sub-Saharian Africa to get out of poverty by 2022, by “releasing the power of the private sector”.
Almost one billion people in the world are underfed today. More than twice as many suffer from malnutrition. This takes many forms but the most common are iron but also vitamin A or C or iodine deficiency. These figures are staggering. This failure is all the more unacceptable given that, in view of the technological progress in agriculture over the last century, we know that the technical obstacles can be overcome. It is the political courage and vision that are lacking. However this report identifies several problems linked to implementing the Alliance and the very concept underpinning it. What’s behind this? First of all there was a cer tain ambiguity about how roles are shared between governments and the private sector. When the leaders of the G8 met on 10 July 2009 to announce the Aquila Food Security Initiative (AFSI), they were anxious to provide a credible response to the fear occasioned by the crisis in food commodity prices in Spring 2008. They promised to commit $20 billion over the following three years to make up for the delay there had been in building agricultural infrastructure and support in developing countries, Africa especially.