New study on “Ending hunger: the role of agri-food financing”

An estimated 150 million more people were suffering from hunger in 2021 than there had been in 2019. Reversing this worrying trend – and restoring progress towards zero hunger – will require a significant uplift in financing for agri-food systems. 

I was the project director of a fantastic new study by Economist Impact and sponsored by CGIAR on “Ending hunger: the role of agri-food financing”, with my colleagues Sardar Karim and Rory Meryon.

You can access the study here.

Drawing on our analysis of secondary data sources and interviews with experts, this report examines the role of agri-food financing in ending world hunger. It concludes with three broad strategies to increase the volume and impact of financing for agri-food systems, with the goal of accelerating progress towards zero hunger. These include:

• Scaling up targeted development funding in the short term; for example, through leveraging of alternative sources of development assistance and reform of international financing institutions.

• Realising the potential of the private sector; for example, through promotion of public-private partnerships, blended finance and digitisation.

• Maximising the impact of existing investment; for example, through prioritisation of investment in high-impact, low-cost interventions such as extension services, as well as allocation of development funding to geographies most in need of external assistance.

Ending world hunger is an enormous task—but by no means an impossible one. Crucially, delaying progress not only risks humanitarian tragedy today; it will also increase the overall socioeconomic costs of ending hunger in the long term. There is no time to lose.

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