Obama to announce food security plan

At the G-8 summit this weekend, US President Barack Obama will announce a $3bn plan to increase food security and agricultural productivity in Africa.

The plan is aimed at reducing shortages in the international food supply chain, which is being stretched by rising demand from the emerging markets of Asia.

The G-8 summit, held at Camp David in Washington, DC, will discuss food security and try to plot a solution to a growing concern. President Obama is expected to launch a scheme of investment in African agriculture by private American companies; the total package could be worth more than $3bn.

The head of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), Rajiv Shah, said:

“By taking this new approach, we believe that it’s possible to move 50 million people out of the condition of poverty and hunger.You cannot have stability and security as long as regions and countries and communities are deeply food-insecure.”

Many African countries have become dependent on importing food in recent years, something the food security plan will look to address.

International aid groups have been calling on the G-8 leaders to place world food issues near the top of the agenda at this weekend’s summit.

Adam Taylor, of the Christian anti-porverty organisation World Vision, said:

“The G8 leaders have already agreed to do something about global hunger. Now is the time to renew and fulfill those commitments, making life-saving investments in solutions that will improve food security and reduce child malnutrition.”

Earlier this year a United Nations report said that Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Chad, northern Cameroon and Nigeria were all suffering from severe problems in food supply due to different factors including drought, poverty, high grain prices, and under-development of agricultural resources.

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