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Speeches & TranscriptsMay 3, 2023

Intervention by World Bank Senior Managing Director Axel van Trotsenburg at the launch of the Global Report on Food Crises 2023

As prepared for delivery:

I am honored to join this event. We meet today at a somber moment. The report is clear — we are not on track to meet SDG 2 (of zero hunger) by 2030. In fact, acute food insecurity has reached new heights.

We now live in a world where food crises are no longer seen as an exception but unfortunately viewed as the “new normal”. This is not acceptable – we all need to continue to respond together and to put all the resources necessary on the table to address this problem.

Our response needs to acknowledge that food insecurity is both a humanitarian and a development issue. It is caused both by shocks, such as weather extremes or conflicts, and by long-term, structural inefficiencies in our food systems.  This means that to eliminate food insecurity, we have to simultaneously address the short-term problem, with tools such as social protection or support to farmers; while also addressing long-term issues such as improving the resilience of our food systems.

The World Bank Group will continue to lead the effort among donors and multi-lateral institutions. We have committed $16 billion in new commitments since April 2022 –roughly evenly split between short and long-term responses. Our work since April last year has included:

 A $2.3 billion Food Systems Resilience Program for Eastern and Southern Africa, to increase the resilience of the region’s food systems and ability to tackle growing food insecurity.

Our ongoing collaborations with the Global Network and other humanitarian and development partners to establish Food Security Crisis Preparedness Plans in 26 countries.

These plans are also linked to our efforts under the Global Alliance for Food Security Food and Nutrition Security Dashboard which brings together in one place the latest global and country-level information on food crisis severity, global food security financing, and innovative research to strengthen crisis response and resilience.

Food insecurity is at the top of our agenda. We will continue to do everything we can to support our clients to transform their food systems, because it is not acceptable for anyone to go hungry.

I’d like to thank the Global Network for the report and for bringing us together. The work you do is essential for us to reach the goal of zero hunger.


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