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New action plan to combat hunger

Today, the Government is launching a new action plan – Food, People and the Environment – to promote sustainable food systems in the context of Norwegian foreign and development policy in the period 2019-2023.

Presenting the action plan: From left Minister of Climate and Environment Ola Elvestuen, Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide, Minister of International Development Dag-Inge Ulstein and  Minister of Agriculture and Food Olaug Bollestad. Credit: Sunniva Furset, MFA
Presenting the action plan: From left Minister of Climate and Environment Ola Elvestuen, Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide, Minister of International Development Dag-Inge Ulstein and Minister of Agriculture and Food Olaug Bollestad. Credit: Sunniva Furset, MFA

‘Our aim is to increase the focus on food security,’ said Minister of International Development Dag-Inge Ulstein (Christian Democratic Party). 

Norway is one of the first countries in the world to draw up a plan for promoting sustainable food systems in the context of foreign and development policy.

‘It is unacceptable that more than one in five children under the age of five worldwide suffer from chronic malnutrition and that the number of people who do not have reliable access to food is increasing. We need to rethink our approach and consider the whole picture,’ Mr Ulstein said. 

Food security is an issue that cuts across the full breadth of Norway’s foreign and development policy. The action plan is based on the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals.

‘Hunger and food shortages undermine sustainable development, and peace and stability. Ensuring access to safe and healthy food is crucial for safeguarding the fundamental rights of a growing global population and for enabling us to reach the SDGs,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide (Conservative Party). 

Seven ministers from five ministries have worked together to draw up the new action plan. All seven of them participate in international arenas within their various fields where food-related issues are discussed.

‘Norway has extensive knowledge of the oceans, sustainable fisheries and aquaculture, and not least the production of high-quality, safe and healthy seafood. We will work to strengthen the role of the seafood sector in increasing food security at both national and global level. As a nation with extensive knowledge of food production from the sea, we have a particular responsibility to help ensure that the growing world population has access to healthy and safe food,’ said Minister of Fisheries Harald Tom Nesvik (Progress Party).  

‘We need to think along new lines if we are to feed a growing population within the Earth’s ecological limits. Today’s food systems and consumption patterns are causing high greenhouse gas emissions and the loss of species,’ said Minister of Climate and Environment Ola Elvestuen (Liberal Party). 

The overall objective of the action plan is to increase food security through the development of sustainable food systems. The action plan’s focus areas are: food production, value creation and markets; nutrition and diet; and policy and governance.

‘The fight against hunger and poverty will always be a priority. The work to follow up this action plan will be an important part of our political efforts in the time ahead. According to the World Bank, growth in the agriculture sector is more than twice as effective for combating poverty than growth in other sectors,’ said Minister of Agriculture and Food Olaug Bollestad (Christian Democratic Party).

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