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UN Food Systems Summit Public Finance Forum

July 15, 2021


  • The food system is a key solution to tackling the most critical, urgent challenges of our time. Food systems can and must be at the heart of supporting healthy people, a healthy planet, and healthy economies. Sustainable systems can underpin strong economic recovery (including job creation and getting out of debt traps), climate action and public health.

    But today’s food systems are typically extractive, destructive and reinforce major inequalities, generating over $12 trillion a year in hidden environmental, social and economic costs. Financial incentives are misaligned; negative externalities are not accounted for, preventing funds from flowing to sustainable opportunities & embedding huge risk into financial systems. As a result, our food systems are subtracting rather than adding value.

    An additional $350 billion in investment is needed per year to transform food systems. This means changing how food is financed. Public capital must be used to de-risk regenerative business models, tackle challenges like hunger and poverty and build pipeline and capacity. Private capital can be used to incentivise more sustainable practices – properly valuing ecosystem services and mobilising resources, knowledge and technology for smallholders, indigenous peoples and other producers to support a more equitable way of producing and consuming food. Overall, reform of the financial system at-large is needed to redirect incentives and create the enabling environment for investment to flow to sustainable food systems.

    To address this, the Finance Lever aims to tackle incentives which lock in an extractive, destructive, exploitative financing model, helping to develop the financial system architecture and funding mechanisms (both public and private) to support the goals of a higher performing, more resilient and equitable food system.  

    The UN Finance Public Forum will bring together public and private stakeholders to tackle barriers to investment and to build an ambitious shared vision of a Food Finance Architecture that mobilises largescale capital for more sustainable food systems.

    Register here.


    This event is hosted on behalf of the Finance Lever for the UN Food Systems Summit. It has benefited from the organisation and support of the United Nations Food Systems Summit Secretariat, the World Bank, SYSTEMIQ & the Food and Land Use Coalition (FOLU), and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

    Last Updated: Jul 02, 2021

    • Welcome
    • Finance Lever objectives and plans | Martien van Nieuwkoop, Custodian of the Finance Lever; Global Director, Agriculture & Food Global Practice, The World Bank
    • Update from the Dialogues | David Nabarro, Director, 4SD
    • On the ground perspectives: why finance is needed | Entrepreneurs leading sustainable business models
      • Reactions from the Finance Lever
    • AT Lead interventions | UNFSS Action Track/ Finance Leads
    • Q&A