G-8 Vows to Enhance Food Supplies; $20bn to Be Funded

On the concluding day of three day summit, representatives of the G8 developed nations have vowed $20bn (£12bn) for efforts to enhance food supplies to the hungry.

The investment, more $5bn than expected, will fund a three-year initiative to help poor nations develop their own agriculture.

An international news agency quotes a G8 statement as saying there is “an urgent need for decisive action” on hunger and poverty.

According to reports, the idea is to put more emphasis on helping people feed themselves.

That is to be achieved with more investment in the agriculture of developing countries, and the G8 nations – Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the US – will provide significant resources, our correspondent adds.

Not all the money pledged to the agriculture initiative at the summit in the Italian city of L’Aquila will be new funding.

Kanaya Nwanze, president of the International Fund for Agricultural Development, said that he welcomed the announcement of more investment in agriculture in the developing world.

“It is time for us to switch because food security is not just food aid,” he said.

“It is the ability of people to produce food locally and for them to be able to have access to local markets.”

Nwanze said that he expected US President Barack Obama to call for support on Friday from the G8 and other emerging economies for the agriculture initiative.

The US will reportedly contribute some $3.5bn to the programme.

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