We are facing the worst global food crisis of our generation.
Our message from this conference to all those men, women and children suffering hunger is very clear: we see you. And we will not sit idly by.
The fact that we have to deal with Russia’s war in Ukraine, in our immediate neighbourhood, will not divert our attention from you and your needs.
This is why we are here, together in this room.
You and the United States set the ball rolling for this joint message and effort – at the food security ministerial you convened in New York on 18 May. We are here to build on the commitments made in New York.
We are also here to build on the efforts the Secretary-General of the United Nations has taken with so many partners. And we are here to build on the initiative of our French friends, the FARM initiative, represented by the new French Foreign Minister - Catherine.
We are forging ahead with the Global Alliance for Food Security launched in Berlin a month ago.
And, as the German Chancellor just said, we are preparing the ground for the upcoming G7 Summit in Elmau - to work together with the G7 on global food security.
But we must think even further ahead. One important element should be to focus this year’s UN General Assembly on ending the war in Ukraine and on coping with its disastrous consequences for global food security. We should come together in New York again to keep up the momentum for food security!
As far as today’s efforts are concerned, I have already laid out the main points that will be crucial:
From our support to Ukraine in getting its crucial food exports out of the country to addressing the underlying long-term factors to make the world less vulnerable to food crises – climate change in particular.
At this session, we want to focus on the urgent need to further step up our humanitarian assistance to those men, women and children who most need it now.
Germany will provide a record 2.8 billion euro to our humanitarian partners this year.
That means, for instance, that we are funding the WFP’s efforts in Afghanistan to feed almost 19 million people. In the Sahel, where the number of people facing hunger has doubled since 2021, we have topped up our support to the WFP. And in the Palestinian territories, especially in the Gaza Strip, we are supporting UNRWA so that it can distribute food to those in need.
That is not enough. That’s why we are calling on everybody to join forces
- to help put food on the plates of those who are starving,
- to bring medicine to the sick
- and to provide shelter to those who have had it taken away from them.
That’s why I urge our partners to also provide additional resources.
And to be very clear: I call in particular on all those partners who can clearly afford to step up their support – be it due to their rising natural resource revenues or their economic power.
In all of this, our response needs to be swift and bold.
That’s no easy task.
But we are here today to show that we are acting united around the world. And with so many ministers and actors around the table - that is a sign that we never give up. We stand united for global security and we are taking action right now.