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Draghi speaks at the UN pre-summit on food systems

The primary objective is to achieve "Food safety for all"/Video

Prime Minister Mario Draghi spoke today in Rome at the high-level pre-summit event hosted by the Italian government, which anticipates the United Nations Food Systems Summit, an event to be held in September. Below is the premier's brief speech in English, delivered after the usual words:

"The idea of this summit was launched by Secretary General Guterres on the occasion of World Food Day, in October 2019. His was a just concern for the numerous threats to food security, including climate change, infectious diseases. and disruptions to supply chains.

The Covid-19 pandemic has made these concerns even more pressing. The global crisis has pushed millions of people below the poverty line. Extreme weather conditions and supply disruptions have contributed to the rise in food prices. The price index of agricultural commodities recorded an increase of 30% compared to January 2020 and is close to the maximum levels of the last eight years. As a result, the scourge of malnutrition is spreading.

Malnutrition in all its forms has become the leading cause of disease and death. In 2019, around 690 million people were suffering from hunger worldwide. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, the pandemic will increase the number of people suffering from malnutrition by 130 million, bringing the total to over 800 million.

The health crisis has spawned a food crisis.

We have made commitments to ensure that vaccines are available to the poorest in the world. We must act with the same determination to improve access to an adequate amount of food supplies.

At the end of last year, Italy promoted a 'Food Coalition', here in this room, which more than 40 countries have joined. The coalition aims to achieve 'Food Security for All' by fighting extreme poverty and food insecurity generated by the pandemic. We need more funding from governments and development banks in order to reduce the risks for investors in the agricultural sector and improve access to credit, especially for smallholder farmers.
This is the theme of the 'Finance in Common' financial summit that Italy will host in Rome next October.

Under the Italian Presidency, the G20 has identified the main priorities for improving food security worldwide. The Matera declaration, signed last month at the meeting of foreign affairs ministers (thanks Minister Di Maio), underlined the importance of international trade and climate change adaptation policies. Agricultural productivity is 21% lower than it would be without climate change. The negative impact of changes in rainfall, drought and flood patterns will grow exponentially if we do not adopt adequate mitigation and adaptation policies.

The topic will be at the center of the discussions at COP26 - which Italy chairs together with the United Kingdom.
We want to reach an ambitious climate agreement in Glasgow this autumn, involving both rich and emerging economies. Here, therefore, for all of you, experts in the field, 'ambition' is the key word.

The fight against all forms of malnutrition goes hand in hand with safeguarding traditional diets and food diversity. Nearly 3 billion people around the world lack access to healthy diets. In sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, nearly 60 percent of the population cannot afford a healthy diet. We must promote healthy eating habits while preserving traditional food cultures that have been built over the centuries.

The G20 paved the way for the September summit. This pre-summit is an opportunity to transform the way we think, produce and consume food globally. I am sure that your proposals will arouse great interest and I wish you great success".

hef - 20215

EFA News - European Food Agency