As millions face hunger, Guyana says urgent action needed to lower cost of healthy eating

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Studies show that millions of people grappled with hunger and food security in 2022 and on Thursday, Guyana told a United Nations (UN) meeting that urgent action is needed to lower the cost of healthy eating for all.

Guyana’s position was made known by Samuel Hinds, the country’s Ambassador to the United States (US), during a UN meeting on famine and conflict-induced global food insecurity.

There, Mr. Hinds said food supply chains are disrupted by several interlinked challenges, such as higher fuel and fertiliser prices. But he posited that countries are capable of resolving these issues and promoting food security if they work together.

He singled out the Black Sea Grain Initiative as an area for agreement.

This deal is an agreement among Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and the United Nations (UN) during the Russian invasion of Ukraine. It allowed for the safe export of grain from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports. Reuters, however, reported that Russia exited the deal last month, accusing the West of hampering its own grain and fertiliser exports.

Because of the importance of these exports, countries have been calling for a resolution.

Mr. Hinds said Guyana urges “renewed efforts by all concerned parties” to bring the much-needed Black Sea Grain Initiative back on track.

Beyond this, the Ambassador lamented that millions of people across the globe are badly affected by food insecurity. And this issue, he noted, is being worsened by the harsh effects of climate change.

“Urgent action is required to transform agri-food systems, to ensure they are more resilient, and to lower the cost of nutritious food and healthy diets for all,” Mr. Hinds stressed.

And he opined that multilateralism is a guaranteed way of resolving food insecurity. According to him, Guyana is already demonstrating how collaborating with other can boost food production, trade and ultimately, food security.

“As the CARICOM lead on Agriculture, Agricultural Diversification and Food Security, Guyana is working with sister CARICOM States on ambitious initiatives to reinvigorate growth and development of the agri-food sector, boosting regional production with a view to reducing the regional food import bill by 25% by 2025, and to enhance food and nutrition security in the region.

“Our national efforts are in concert with these objectives and aimed at fortifying and diversifying our agri-food sector, including through increased budgetary allocations and investment in research and supportive infrastructure, and adoption of climate-smart technologies,” Mr. Hinds said.

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