Recognizing the Urgency: Climate Change and Global Food Insecurity
The United States has long acknowledged the intricate link between the climate crisis and the global food emergency. Mounting evidence suggests that climate change poses a significant threat to agricultural productivity, food systems, and the ability of vulnerable populations to produce and access food amidst rising hunger, malnutrition, and economic challenges.
A Dire Present and an Alarming Future
Currently, 700 million people face undernourishment, and projections indicate a 50 percent surge in global food demand over the next 25 years. Paradoxically, prolonged droughts, devastating wildfires, and catastrophic storms intensified by climate change could slash yields by up to 30 percent during the same period. In echoing President Biden’s sentiment that addressing hunger is paramount, urgent action is imperative.
Vision for Adapted Crops and Soils (VACS): A Climate-Resilient Solution
In response to this crisis, the Vision for Adapted Crops and Soils (VACS) is stepping in. This initiative aims to counter climate change’s impact on global food security by investing in climate-resilient, nutritious crop varieties and promoting healthy, fertile soils.
Acknowledging the urgency, the United States is injecting an additional $50 million into VACS through the International Fund for Agricultural Development’s (IFAD’s) Rural Resilience Program, subject to congressional notification and fund availability. This pushes total U.S. support for VACS this year to $150 million.
A Global Movement Gaining Momentum
Initially a partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the African Union, The Rockefeller Foundation, and CGIAR, VACS has transformed into a global movement. Governments worldwide, along with NGOs, the private sector, and others, are embracing this initiative. Recent financial commitments from the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Japan, Norway, Cargill, and ADM underscore the broad support for VACS.
VACS Champions Program: Recognizing Pioneering Contributions
In acknowledgment of the pivotal role played by NGOs and the private sector in advancing VACS goals, the United States introduced the VACS Champions Program. Inaugural champions include Bayer AG, Catholic Relief Services, ADM, Concern Worldwide, and the One Acre Fund. This initiative underscores the critical role of NGOs and the private sector in addressing climate change challenges and the global food security crisis.
Encouraging Commitment, Collaboration, and Partnership
The U.S. applauds these champions and recognizes the indispensable role of NGOs and the private sector in addressing the challenges posed by climate change and global food security. The VACS Champions Program calls for sustained commitment, collaboration, and partnership to fortify the global movement against climate-induced food insecurity.