University of Toronto G8 Information Centre

Summit Documents

Ending the Cycle of Famine in the Horne of Africa, Raising Agricultural Productivity and Promoting Rural Development in Food Insecure Countries
Sea Island, June 10, 2004

See G8 Action Plan

We are united in our belief that famine is preventable in the 21" century. Famine, food insecurity, and malnutrition have many complex causes, and defeating them will require a global partnership between the governments of affected countries, donors, international institutions, the private sector, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). We renew our commitment to help build this partnership, particularly in Africa, where more than 200 million people remain threatened by famine or food insecurity.

We support fully the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) and the principles and goals set out in the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme. In particular, we applaud the African Union Declaration on Agriculture and Food Security, in which African leaders committed to allocating at least 10% of national budgetary resources for agriculture and rural development. Our efforts to fight famine, hunger and food insecurity are a demonstration of our commitment to achieve internationally recognized development goals, including the goals of halving by 2015 the number of people who suffer from hunger and from poverty.

Under the Evian Famine Action Plan, the G8 has made significant progress in coordinating our emergency assistance efforts in the Horn of Africa and improving our famine early warning capabilities. We have agreed on a joint response to the crucial problem of promoting broad­based rural development and raising agricultural productivity in food insecure areas. To build on this work, we have agreed to undertake three new initiatives within the framework of the G8 Africa and Famine Action Plans:

Breaking the Cycle of Famine in the Horn of Africa: Along with the World Bank and other donors, we have agreed to support a new Ethiopian Government framework that offers a real chance to break the cycle of famine in that country and can serve as a point of reference for other countries. We will work with the New Coalition for Food Security to offer unified support for the Government's reform program to realize the Government's goal of attaining food security for five million chronically food insecure people by 2009. We will support land reform by funding the rollout of a land user rights system throughout Ethiopia by 2006. We will expand our support for rural infrastructure development to help the Government meet or exceed the road building goals set out in its Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP). We will work in a coordinated fashion to develop agricultural markets and facilitate regional economic integration.

We stand ready to help other countries in the Horn that are willing to make a political commitment to develop comprehensive food security and famine prevention programs. We encourage Eritrea to complete its interim PRSP in a manner which would serve as a basis for a concrete dialogue with its development partners on initiatives to support a transition to a more food secure future. A sustained commitment to policy reform by the Eritrean Government will be essential to deliver on the promise of this paper.

Improving Worldwide Emergency Assessment and Response Systems: We will work closely with the World Food Program (WFP), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), other UN agencies, and leading international NGOs to continue to improve global emergency assessment and agricultural information systems in order to estimate more accurately food aid and non-food needs and enable emergency assistance to reach the areas and groups that need it most. During 2004, we will support field testing of improvements to emergency needs assessment systems in two Southern African countries. We urge the international community to meet fully the emergency assistance needs, including non-food items, in the Horn of Africa and other famine-prone regions, and will do our part to achieve that objective.

Raising Agricultural Productivity in Food Insecure Countries and Promoting Rural Development, Especially in Africa: We applaud the renewed attention by donors, international institutions, NGOs, and developing countries to these crucial issues, in particular the significant increase in the agricultural and rural development activities of the World Bank and the FAO and the innovative irrigation and agricultural technology programs financed by the International Fund for Agricultural Development.

We will focus our institutional capacity building to help food insecure countries, particularly in Africa, develop agricultural science and technology, raise agriculture productivity, and meet international food safety standards. We will strengthen local and regional agricultural markets and work with governments to improve access for poor farmers to productive resources such as land, credit, agricultural inputs and services, and technology. We will encourage private investment, foster sub-regional growth, promote the use of geo-spatial data, and explore famine­risk schemes. To promote agricultural science and research, we will enhance institutional capacity to utilize science and technology through links between universities. Together we will advance a vision of a "second green revolution" adapted to African conditions that would raise agricultural productivity, promote hardier crops for healthier people, and make food insecurity in Africa a thing of the past.

The attached Action Plan provides details on these initiatives.

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Ending the Cycle of Famine in the Horn of Africa,
Raising Agricultural Productivity,
and Promoting Rural Development in Food Insecure Countries:
A G8 Action Plan

I. Breaking the Cycle of Famine and Increasing Agricultural Productivity in the Horn of Africa

With a population of almost 150 million, recurring conflict, and an average per capita annual income of less than $220, the Horn of Africa presents a compelling case for attention. For more than two decades, nearly half of Ethiopia's 68 million people have experienced some degree of food insecurity and malnutrition. Approximately five million are "chronically food insecure", i.e., unable at some time in any year to secure an adequate supply of food for survival. Millions more face hunger or food insecurity in Eritrea, Somalia, and the Sudan.

Since Evian, G8 aid agencies and other donors have worked closely under Ethiopian Government leadership to design and support a "productive safety net." The safety net will protect the assets of chronically food-insecure families, enhance the functioning of food markets, and support urgent rural investments. Within three to five years, this safety net should provide an alternative to emergency assistance for the Ethiopians who are chronically food insecure.

The completion of Eritrea's interim Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper could offer a basis for a concrete dialogue with its development partners on initiatives to support a transition to a more food secure future. A sustained commitment to policy reform by the Eritrean Government will be essential to deliver on the promise of this paper. G8 members are prepared to support such a commitment by strengthening assistance to projects targeting agricultural development in Eritrea, including in the area of water distribution.

G8 members will take the following actions in close coordination with each other, governments in the region, and all relevant stakeholders:

II. Improving Worldwide Emergency Assessment and Response Systems

Emergency assistance, both food and non-food, continues to play a crucial, short-term role in combating food insecurity. In recent years, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, and Sudan have been among the world's largest recipients of emergency food assistance. Although harvests improved in

2003-04, substantial emergency assistance will still be required for Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, and Sudan, in part because of political instability and displacement of populations due to conflicts.

Our aid agencies are collaborating on efforts to harmonize methodology for collecting data on national nutrition and mortality levels and responding effectively. When operational, these initiatives will give donors reliable new tools to target more quickly and accurately emergency assistance.

Acting individually and collectively, G8 members will take the following actions:

III. Boosting Agricultural Productivity and Rural Development in Food Insecure Countries, Especially in Africa

We welcome the high priority Africans place on increasing agricultural productivity as evidenced by the recent, successful Africa 2020 Conference in Uganda. Raising agricultural productivity and promoting broad-based rural development are two of the long-term keys to reducing the threat of malnutrition and child mortality, increasing incomes, and stimulating overall economic growth in food insecure countries. These challenges are multifaceted, requiring reforms of domestic agricultural, social, economic, and development policies with the full participation of civil society. They demand integrating food and nutrition insecure countries into the world economy, decentralizing decision making, expanding access to credit, empowering women, harnessing the power of science and technology, unleashing the power of markets, and improving rural economic and social infrastructure.

We strongly support the significant increase in the World Bank's agricultural and rural development activities, including lending, agricultural research and the rural development strategy "Reaching the Rural Poor." We encourage the World Bank to include an assessment of recipient country agricultural policy performance in Country Assistance Strategies where agriculture is a significant economic sector, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. We commit to supporting efforts by Africans to create a positive and sustainable per capita agricultural output growth rate in Sub Saharan Africa by 2007.

G8 members are supporting a range of programs to promote agricultural productivity and rural development in African and other countries. Our activities are built on the clear lessons of the past, including the importance of a transparent and supportive domestic policy environment; building capacity to implement agricultural and development policy; regional cooperation in support of agricultural growth; participation of all stakeholders; coordination between and a long­term commitment by donors; and local ownership of programs.

Acting individually and collectively, G8 members will: