Food Security. Throughout the month of April, different international organizations have expressed their support for initiatives to strengthen agrifood systems. From the formation of the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Working Group for Food Security of EUROLAT, to the FAO and culminating with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB), different calls were made to strengthen food security in a global context where food prices are on the rise, hand in hand with the transit of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on the global value chain. Based on these intentions, the governments of the region could move forward with the implementation of measures in the medium term.
On April 13, the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Working Group on Food Safety was formed in Buenos Aires within the framework of the XIV Plenary Session of the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly (EUROLAT). The Group will have eight members for each continent and will be supported by FAO. Its mandate, over a period of two years, will be to formulate principles for a Euro-Latin American consensus on food and nutritional security, promote inter-parliamentary cooperation and draw up recommendations to be presented to the plenary session of the EUROLAT Assembly.
In support of the Working Group, Tito Diaz, FAO representative in Argentina, stressed the importance of food security in Latin America. “Today more than ever, we need a political commitment from all countries at the highest level for food security. It is not enough to pass laws, they must be properly implemented, with adequate monitoring and financing. The global context is complex and only by confirming alliances will we be able to face the effects of the pandemic and current and future conflicts,” added Díaz.
Regarding the financing of actions to promote food security, the President of the WB Group, David Malpass, the Managing Director of the IMF, Kristalina Georgieva, the Executive Director of the World Food Program, David Beasley, and the Director General of the World Trade Organization, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, called on the international community to urgently support vulnerable countries through coordinated actions ranging from the provision of emergency food supplies. They also assured that financial commitment to help vulnerable countries and households will be key.
The creation of the EUROLAT Working Group could serve as a basis for the promotion of new public policies shared between Latin America and Europe, which could eventually serve as guidelines for the region’s legislative powers to promote regulatory changes at the national level. In addition, the intentions of the IMF and the WB could facilitate access to regional credit to boost food production and eventually overcome the potential food crisis.