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G7 Leaders Pledge to Combat Global Malnutrition with New Initiative

Photo: Reuters

The leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) have pledged to step up efforts to combat malnutrition, which is a major step towards addressing global food insecurity. With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine having disrupted global supply networks and increased food scarcity, especially in vulnerable areas, this vow comes amid the worsening food crises. The G7 Apulia Food Systems Initiative (AFSI), named after the Southern Italian region hosting the summit, aims to dismantle structural barriers to food security and nutrition. According to the draft statement released on Friday, the AFSI will prioritize low-income countries, with a particular focus on supporting projects in Africa. The AFSI is designed to tackle the root causes of food insecurity and malnutrition by addressing systemic issues within food systems. This initiative will encompass a range of strategies, including improving agricultural productivity, enhancing supply chain resilience, and promoting sustainable practices. By targeting these systemic barriers, the G7 aims to create long-term solutions that will ensure consistent and equitable access to nutritious food, particularly in regions that are most in need.

Africa stands at the forefront of the AFSI’s agenda, reflecting one of the top priorities under Italy’s rotating G7 presidency this year. Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has emphasized the importance of supporting the continent, not only to alleviate immediate food shortages but also to address broader socio-economic challenges. Earlier this year, Meloni announced a flagship Italian plan to assist Africa, underscoring the critical need to support the continent’s development and stability.
Prime Minister Meloni has consistently highlighted the connection between supporting Africa and addressing the root causes of illegal migration to Europe. By improving food security and fostering economic development in African nations, the G7 aims to create conditions that reduce the incentives for migration. This comprehensive approach seeks to tackle the intertwined issues of food insecurity, poverty, and migration, thereby promoting stability and prosperity both within Africa and in Europe.
The G7’s renewed focus on global malnutrition comes at a time of heightened urgency. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has significantly disrupted global food supplies, as both nations are key exporters of grains and other essential food commodities. The resulting instability has led to increased food prices and scarcity, particularly impacting low-income countries that are heavily reliant on imports.
In addition to the immediate fallout from the conflict, the world faces ongoing challenges from climate change, economic instability, and persistent inequalities in food distribution. The AFSI represents a coordinated effort by some of the world’s most influential nations to address these complex and interrelated issues.
The success of the G7 Apulia Food Systems Initiative will depend on sustained commitment and collaboration among the member nations, as well as partnerships with international organizations, local governments, and communities. By focusing on structural reforms and supporting targeted projects, the G7 aims to create a more resilient and equitable global food system.
As the AFSI takes shape, it will be crucial to monitor its progress and impact, ensuring that the initiative effectively addresses the root causes of malnutrition and food insecurity. With a comprehensive and collaborative approach, the G7 has the potential to make significant strides in the fight against global hunger and malnutrition, fostering a more stable and prosperous world for all. 
By Cora Sulleyman

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