Speech/statement | Date: 21/04/2022 | Ministry of Foreign Affairs
By Minister of International Development Anne Beathe Tvinnereim (Washington DC, 21 April)
Statement by Minister of International Development, Anne Beathe Tvinnereim, at World Bank seminar in Washington DC.
Dear friends and colleagues,
In many parts of the world - Norway included - the weather is a favourite topic for small talk.
For some time a storm has been gathering. Hunger has been on the rise for several years. The pandemic severed the crisis. Russia’s illegal attack on Ukraine has further aggravated the situation. The UN Secretary General recently warned against a coming “hurricane of hunger and a meltdown of the global food system.” This calls for anything but small talk.
Two weeks ago, I visited South Sudan. Up to 70 percent of the population will need food assistance in 2022. Any other year, most of the wheat in WFPs food packages would have come from Ukraine. Now the grain has doubled in price and exports from Ukraine have stopped. Rations from WFP have been halved. What are the implications when your child only gets half the calories needed? Your child may survive, but at what cost?
We face immediate needs and medium to long-term consequences to abate. 6 to 12 months down the road we will have a much worsened situation if we don't support longer term food and agriculture improvements. This is why Norway has decided to make finance available for the following:
First, we will strengthen social safety nets. Safety nets that improve food security and nutrition can prevent and remedy the worst consequences for the most vulnerable.
Second, we will support multilateral crisis mechanisms for increased food security. The extent of the crisis will require volume and efficiency. We hope our funding will stimulate efforts and funding from others.
Third, we will continue to support climate-resilient food systems and focus on small-scale producers. Norway will support strengthening of local value chains, as well as adapting food production to climate change. We will triple our support to climate adaptation by 2026. Finally, we will expand support to some partners to avoid scaling down due to increased costs of agricultural input factors.
There are indeed dark clouds on the horizon. But efficient food financing will provide some shelter from the storm.