H.E. Mariam Almheiri: ‘Sustainability and technology are key for achieving global food security in light of the COVID-19 pandemic’

H.E. Mariam Almheiri: ‘Sustainability and technology are key for achieving global food security in light of the COVID-19 pandemic’

“The UAE plays a notable role in the global efforts to curb hunger, ensure sustainable food security around the world, and strengthen collaboration towards more efficient food supply chains,” asserted Her Excellency Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, UAE Minister of State for Food and Water Security, speaking on World Food Day 2020.

“Many challenges are facing global food security, among them being climate change, water scarcity, loss of biodiversity, food waste, and regional conflicts,” H.E. explained. “These challenges have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 outbreak, and this compels us, now more than ever, to find innovative solutions to provide the world’s population with the food they need today and in the future, when we will be faced with the challenge to feed more than 9 billion people around the world by 2050.”

“Sustainable practices across the entire supply chain and advanced agricultural technologies have become indispensable for achieving global food security, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. With that in mind, the UAE launched a national programme to support and promote sustainable food products, which, in turn, offers a boost to the country’s agriculture development efforts,” H.E. Almheiri added.

Her Excellency indicated that 690 million people suffer from hunger every day around the world, stressing that it has become necessary to strengthen global cooperation and promote more sustainable food systems, which are inherently more resilient in the face of global developments and challenges.

H.E. Almheiri reaffirmed the UAE’s commitment to cooperating with countries around the world, as well as with international organisations, such as the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the World Food Programme. “The UAE is dedicated to sharing its knowledge and experiences, in addition to providing aid to vulnerable communities,” H.E. said, reiterating the UAE’s commitment to achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – particularly the second goal: ‘Zero Hunger’.

“The community plays the largest role in strengthening food systems in the UAE and the world,” H.E. noted. “We must commit to raising public awareness about the importance of food to the future of humanity and the great challenges facing sustainability in this sector. All members of the community have a role to play in finding solutions for sustainable food production at home, be it through urban farming, sustainable food purchasing and consumption patterns, or reducing food waste.”

“In partnership with international organisations, government bodies, and the private sector, the community can lay the foundations for global food security in the future. We have a new generation of qualified human resources who can achieve tremendous results, supported by an integrated system of scientific research and development, innovation, and business to help transform our food systems to more sustainable ones.” H.E. Mariam Almheiri concluded.