Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield
U.S. Representative to the United Nations
New York, New York
October 16, 2022
As we mark World Food Day, we are facing the worst food security crisis I have ever seen. The compounding impacts of the pandemic, the deepening climate crisis, rising energy and fertilizer costs, and protracted conflicts – including Russia’s illegal, unjustified invasion of Ukraine – have disrupted global supply chains and dramatically increased global food prices. It is heartbreaking to know that, as a result, tonight over 828 million people will go to bed hungry.
This unprecedented crisis calls for an unprecedented response. The United States has stepped up to provide more than $10.5 billion in humanitarian and development assistance for food security and has galvanized a global response. More than 100 countries have now signed on to the United States’ Roadmap for Global Food Security–Call to Action giving us a common picture of this crisis and a common vision for addressing it. The Global Food Security Summit, co-chaired by the United States during the 77th UN General Assembly’s High-Level Week, reaffirmed the commitment of world leaders to act with urgency to avert extreme hunger for hundreds of millions of people around the world.
Thanks to diligent efforts by the UN Secretary-General and Türkiye, the Black Sea Grain Initiative has brought more than 7 million metric tons of desperately needed food to the world’s hungry populations. This initiative is essential to global food security and must be extended. And with a multi-year drought in the Horn of Africa and parts of Somalia at risk of famine for the second time in just over a decade, there is still more to be done.
But to stamp out hunger we cannot just supply food to the hungry. We also have to address what is driving food insecurity in the first place – rising energy costs, climate change, COVID, and the most insidious source of hunger: conflict. That is why I have consistently brought this issue before the UN Security Council. Food security is a national security issue. It is an economic issue. But above all, it is a moral issue.
As we reflect on World Food Day, let us seize the moment to work together across governments, across countries, and among peoples to end hunger. Now is the moment to forge partnerships with civil society and the private sector, to take advantage of new technologies and better techniques, to build the food systems and the structures of the future, and to end hunger once and for all.