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The Jury is Still Out, but All Eyes are on the G8

The Jury is Still Out, but All Eyes are on the G8

NOTE: This post comes courtesy of ONE’s senior agriculture policy manager Emily Alpert and our friends at the ONE Campaign. You can join their efforts to break the cycle of hunger and poverty in places of need around the world here.

The Camp David G8 Summit is fast approaching. Organizations like ONE have been working tirelessly to influence the G8′s thinking on food and nutrition security. We’ve asked the G8 to not only deliver on their past commitments, but more importantly, agree to do more.

At ONE, we’ve also asked our 3 million members worldwide to plant a seed of change in the hands of the G8. This “seed of change” calls on the G8 — along with African governments and the private sector — to fully finance 30 agriculture and food security country investment plans and proven nutrition solutions to lift 50 million people out of poverty and save 15 million children from stunting within the next 10 years. Our new Thrive campaign report “Food. Farming. Future.” spells out the details.

How are the G8 responding? Well, it’s a little tough to say. No formal proposals have been shared publicly, but this is what we’ve been hearing about the anticipated US G8 Proposal:

-The private sector is the missing link to agricultural-led growth and food security and the G8 will focus its efforts on leveraging private sector investment in Africa to lift 50 million people out of poverty over 10 years.

-To start, the G8 will pilot a number of investments — from risk management to scaling technology and innovation in the farming sector — in 6 “vanguard” countries: Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mozambique and Tanzania.

-The G8 will continue to prioritize country-ownership and align investments behind country-investment plans and target smallholder farmers, especially women small-holder farmers.

As you can imagine, this is not a lot of detail for a global initiative that is so critical for breaking the cycle of poverty and malnutrition. Naturally, it raises a lot of questions:

-Will the G8 offer up new financing to back this initiative? Surely it cannot succeed, nor these goals realized, without sustained donor support.

-6 countries is hardly global, will they reach the level of ambition needed to lift 50 million people out of poverty? And what does this signal to the remaining 25 countries (Cote d’Ivoire doesn’t have an investment plan) about the efforts they’ve taken so far to become investment-ready?

-How will the G8 ensure that the private sector aligns behind country plans? Or agree to target smallholders and women as their customers and beneficiaries?

-Which private sector are they referring to? Will the initiative help to build small and medium sized enterprises in Africa — a necessary requirement for building sustainable agriculture sectors — in addition to looking for outside investment?

-Where is nutrition in all of this? The consequences of neglecting childhood nutrition are devastating and debilitating for families, communities and countries.

-And what lies ahead for accountability? The current annual G8 Accountability reports are lackluster. Greater transparency and consistent and standard reporting requirements are a must.

With less than three weeks to go, the G8 must demonstrate how it will align its endeavors behind country-owned plans — this is needed to achieve greater impact, and to boost confidence in African leaders and prospective African investors — from outside and within. Africa is ready to do business and has enormous untapped potential to be a greater contributor to the global economy, but donor aid is the cornerstone to reducing investment risk, especially for reaching disparate and poor producers, and cannot be downplayed or dismissed, even under challenging financial circumstances.

Related Stories:

Sub Saharan Africa’s Burgeoning Environmental Movement

Senate’s Farm Bill Could Greatly Improve US Food Aid Policy

Tell Washington to Stop Wasting our Food Aid Dollars

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Photo credit: ONE International

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21 comments

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8:22AM PDT on Jul 31, 2012

Interesting article, the G8 needs to do a lot more to help others.

7:55PM PDT on May 9, 2012

Firstly, I feel that 20 comments compared to well over 200 on most religious related articles is beyond disgusting, when this article is so obviously far more pressing, important and relevant to the "realities" of this planet.
As for the G8 summit, I've generally seen this meeting merely a business conference for the worlds richest countries debating what to do with their leftover spendings without looking like complete tyrants, and at the same time remain the wealthiest 8 on the planet.

2:36AM PDT on May 6, 2012

Thanks for the article.

6:26AM PDT on May 5, 2012

Thanks...

12:44AM PDT on May 5, 2012

thanks

10:58PM PDT on May 4, 2012

Big AG and government are not going to give up until there is no longer any more real seeds left. By the time they admit its wrong it will be to late. They want to suck up all the farms to build houses and now want to get every ear of corn out of a field even if it makes people sick. You cant mess with the order of mother earth like that and not expect a kick in the head. And they are also pushing hard on the amish to chip their cattle and grow gm foods. In a few years they will be the only ones with anything close to real food. I always buy from the amish in the area and well you can taste the difference and see it for that matter.

9:23PM PDT on May 4, 2012

Shame on all of you money-swollen companies for the greed you display daily. Remember, the LOVE of money is the root of all evil.

7:55PM PDT on May 4, 2012

One of the greatest threats to humanities food supplies are gm crops. They should be seen for what they are, a threat to humanities health and life and subsequently banned.

4:37PM PDT on May 4, 2012

Thanks

10:25AM PDT on May 4, 2012

One last request, please do the research and find out how many family farmers and ranchers have been under attack by what can ONLY be called S.W.A.T. teams. The healthy food is under attack and the bad ones are pretty much regulation free. Do the research because this has been going on in one way or the other for YEARS. Remember Willie Nelson and his fight to help American Farmers.

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