Administrator Samantha Power Intervention at the G20 Joint Foreign and Development Affairs Ministerial

Speeches Shim

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

As Prepared

Thank you, Secretary Blinken.

I want to echo everyone’s thanks to Italy for elevating food security and nutrition as a top development priority. I am eager to join the G20’s commitment to a world free of hunger and malnutrition by 2030.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, scientists and innovators around the world were helping put this goal within our reach thanks to technological advances like vitamin-enriched and drought-resistant seeds and more efficient watershed and soil management practices. But despite these innovations, the COVID-19 pandemic shattered the progress we were making in equipping some of the world’s poorest communities with the tools to feed themselves.

As you all know, more than 160 million more people are living in poverty due to COVID-19, and another 9.3 million more children could suffer from acute malnutrition. But we can overcome this pandemic—and regain our footing in the fight against hunger.

More than 10 years ago, the U.S. made a commitment to double food security assistance in L’Aquila, Italy—a recognition that generous food aid had to be supplemented by sustained long-term investments in agricultural productivity and food security. We have maintained that commitment through Feed the Future, an initiative that leverages research, innovation, and private sector partnerships to guarantee lasting food security for future generations. Through this initiative, the U.S. has already lifted more than 23 million people out of poverty.

These linkages between government, the private sector, and the scientific community are exactly the type of focused and coordinated action we need to end global hunger, and we urge our G20 partners to work with new partners and invest in long-term food security. Alone, we won’t be able to help countries strengthen resilient and sustainable food systems that will help them weather future crises and climate shocks—the status quo will not be enough. But together, we can deepen partnerships with the private sector and other non-traditional donors to once and for all bring an end to chronic hunger and poverty.

To that end, we applaud the Matera Declaration on Food Security, Nutrition, and Food Systems. And I look forward to working with you all to reinvigorate this effort, and to advance the right to an adequate standard of living—of which adequate food and nutrition are an integral part.

Last updated: September 23, 2021

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