Fighting for Food Security: Lessons from Cross-Country Approaches

Series: ADB Sustainable Food Webinar Series

Fighting for Food Security: Lessons from Cross-Country Approaches

10 August 2022

Progress towards achieving food security in many countries, particularly countries in Asia depending on food imports and remittances, had already slowed down and reversed in many cases due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is notable that the impact of the pandemic was more pronounced in many developing member countries of ADB because of the pre-existing challenges of their agriculture structure - climate change crisis, inefficient market and supply infrastructure, aging agricultural labor force, and declining agricultural resources.

FAO and UNICEF estimated about 375.8 million people in Asia faced hunger in 2020, which is nearly 54 million more people than in 2019. More than 1.1 billion people did not have access to adequate food in 2020 – an increase of almost 150 million people in just one year. According to the sixth annual Global Report on Food Crises (GFRC 2022), an additional 236 million people across 41 countries/territories, included in the report, required livelihood support and assistance to prevent them from slipping into worse levels of acute food security in 2021.

These effects have been compounded by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Russia and Ukraine rank among the top three global exporters of essential commodities like Wheat, Maize, Sunflower oil, Sunflower seed, Rapeseed, and Barley. As many as 13 countries in our region import more than 30% of at least one essential commodity from Russia and Ukraine. Disruptions in food and agri-inputs supply from Russia and Ukraine have intensified the food crisis in these through direct and indirect channels.

Many of our DMCs in the region are net food importers and therefore, vulnerable to food insecurity. Food already constitutes a significant part of consumer price indices in the region. For example, food accounts for nearly 30% of CPI in the Philippines and Thailand, and 49% in Tajikistan. A continued increase in food prices can potentially tip some of our DMCs towards extreme poverty, and economic and political instability.

Recognizing this, ADB moved quickly and joined other international financing institutions (IFIs) in formulating a collaborative action plan to address food insecurity. This action plan supported five goals: supporting vulnerable people, promoting open trade, mitigating fertilizer shortage, supporting food production, and investing in climate resilience agriculture for the future.

Having provided this swift action to help DMCs address food insecurity, ADB also recognized that money alone cannot solve the problem and one solution will not fit all countries given the heterogeneous nature of the problem across countries, and also noted the importance of south-south learning. Many research institutes, universities, and think tanks had worked across countries to develop pragmatic and actionable solutions to resolve evolving food security crises. For example, China Agricultural University launched its 2022 “China and Global Food Policy” report on 9 June. Similar work was being done in other DMCs to reform support to the agriculture sector required for improving food security. Against this backdrop, the proposed learning session focused on brainstorming on how to enhance ADB’s support for food security based on the views and perspectives of the think tanks of different countries.

 

 

This learning event is part of the ADB Sustainable Food Webinar Series that offers a platform to discuss, share knowledge and experiences, and find out solutions and best practices that can help developing members countries build sustainable and resilient food systems and enable them to recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and future disruptions.

Program and Learning Materials: 
Date Session / Activity Presentation Material Speaker(s)
10 Aug 2022 Opening Introduction Qingfeng Zhang
10 Aug 2022 Opening Opening Remarks
ADB has moved quickly, joining other international financing institutions (IFIs) in formulating a collaborative action plan to address food insecurity...
Bruno Carrasco
10 Aug 2022 Keynote Presentation Food Security Challenges and Building Resilient Food Systems in China
This presentation gives an overview of the increasing risks and coincidences of risks to food systems.
Kevin Chen
10 Aug 2022 Country Presentation Food Security Challenges and Building Resilient Food Systems in China
This presentation gives an overview of the increasing risks and coincidences of risks to food systems.
Kevin Chen
10 Aug 2022 Country Presentation Evolving Challenges of Food Security and Imperatives for Actions: India Ashok Gulati
10 Aug 2022 Country Presentation Food Security in Indonesia: Challenges and Policy Responses
This presentation gives an overview of short- and long-term policy responses to food security in India.
Tahlim Sudaryanto
10 Aug 2022 Open Discussions and Q&A Fighting for Food Security in People's Republic of China: Lessons from Cross-Country Approaches
Weihua Liu
10 Aug 2022 Open Discussions and Q&A The Philippine Experience
Fermin Adriano
10 Aug 2022 Open Discussions and Q&A Asian Development Bank Noor Ahmed
10 Aug 2022 Open Discussions and Q&A World Food Programme Anthea Webb
10 Aug 2022 Closing Remarks Qingfeng Zhang

Disclaimer

The views expressed on this website are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) or its Board of Governors or the governments they represent. ADB does not guarantee the accuracy of the data included in this publication and accepts no responsibility for any consequence of their use. By making any designation of or reference to a particular territory or geographic area, or by using the term “country” in this document, ADB does not intend to make any judgments as to the legal or other status of any territory or area.