Boris Johnson’s £372million pledge to tackle global food crisis “nowhere near what’s needed”

Today, on the eve of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting and ahead of the G7 Summit in Germany (26-28 June), Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a significant package of support worth £372million to help countries hit the hardest by rising global food costs and shortages of fertiliser.

It includes lifting the blockade of the Black Sea ports, which will allow re-stabilisation of global wheat supply chains, and the decision to review the biofuel mandate so that more wheat and maize can be used for food not fuel.

Stephanie Draper, CEO at Bond, the UK network of NGOs, said in response:

“We welcome the UK government’s support for countries hit hardest by rising global food prices. The funding pledged today is a step in the right direction, but it’s nowhere near what’s needed. As the prime minister joins the rest of the G7 this weekend, today’s announcement must be the seed of a bigger plan to address the causes and consequences of the global food crisis.

“The plan to review the biofuel mandate to combat soaring prices is promising, but should not be an excuse to continue using environmentally damaging fossil fuels – especially coal, which would violate international commitments. The UK government should instead see this as an opportunity to double-down on renewable energy.
“Finally, this £372milion must be additional to the already-diminished UK aid budget. If we are not providing additional help in this situation then we unfairly deprive life-saving support from other marginalised people around the world in the grips of extreme poverty, conflict and inequality.”