Multi-donor trust fund seeks to improve food systems

10 November 2020 | Muriel Cozier

‘…There is tremendous scope to modernise the policies and practices that govern agriculture and food…’

FoodSystems2030, a new umbrella multi-donor trust fund of the World Bank, has received its first donation of $17 million from Germany. The initiative has been established to ‘build the foundations for sustainable food systems that deliver improved livelihoods and safe, affordable, nutritious diets for all.’

Commenting on the contribution Dr Gerd Müller, Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Germany said ‘…Covid-19 will not be the last pandemic. One lesson from this must be that the international community has to work together better to prevent future pandemics…By contributing to the FoodSystems2030 fund, we are giving a targeted boost to food safety and to the early detection of zoonoses in food production.’

There is growing concern about the spread of infectious diseases, which have their origins in animals, affecting humans. The livestock sector is said to be responsible for about 73% of all antibiotic consumption, increasing the risk of antimicrobial resistance which may further compromise human health. Currently a number of countries in Europe, along with the US, are dealing with the spread of coronavirus on mink farms. With concern that the virus could mutate and infect humans, Denmark has taken the decision to cull 17 million of the animals.

Thanking Germany for its contribution, Martien Van Nieuwkoop, Global Director of the Agriculture and Food Global Practice at the World Bank added ‘…There is tremendous scope to modernise the policies and practices that govern agriculture and food and help countries address the pervasive challenges of rural poverty, environmental degradation and illnesses connected to unsafe practices and poor diets.’

FoodSystems2030 is seeking to leverage public and private investment and consumer spending towards transforming food systems. It will provide policy advice and analytical products to country partners and steer World Bank lending to achieve improved health outcomes. To achieve its objectives, the initiative will support integrated activities along nine so called ‘pathways.’ The ‘pathways’ include improved diets, prevention of zoonotic disease and better food safety.

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