The United Arab Emirates is making strenuous efforts to address food insecurity around the world. It is proposing solutions, launching initiatives, and supporting projects that aim to establish a sustainable international food production system.
The UAE believes that achieving food security is essential for promoting and consolidating international security and stability, especially in light of the accelerating climate changes that are making it more difficult to meet the growing food needs of the world's population, which is expected to increase by 60 percent by 2050.
The UAE is joining the world in celebrating World Food Day, which falls on 16th October each year. The UAE has a strong track record of achievements and initiatives in improving food production, ensuring the sustainability of food supply chains, and combating hunger around the world.
COP28 Food Systems and Agriculture Programme
The world is looking forward to the 28th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28), which the UAE will host from 30th November to 12th December, 2023, at Expo City Dubai.
In July 2022, the UAE announced the COP28 Food Systems and Agriculture Programme, which aims to enhance efforts to transform global food and agricultural systems. The COP28 Presidency called on all members of the international community to increase their commitment to scaling up solutions, with a focus on investment and strengthening partnerships towards transformative ideas.
Through the announcement of the new programme, the COP28 Presidency encourages all countries in the world to sign the Leaders' Declaration on Food Systems and Agriculture and Climate Action.
By signing this declaration, countries commit to transforming food systems and pledge to seek innovative and ambitious solutions to food-related challenges. In addition, the COP28 Presidency calls on a range of stakeholders, including companies, farmer associations, producer syndicates, and other non-governmental actors in the food and agriculture sectors, to accelerate existing initiatives across food systems, agriculture, and climate action, through production, consumption, and addressing food loss and waste.
AIM for Climate
The Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate (AIM for Climate) is a joint initiative led by the United Arab Emirates and the United States. It focuses on accelerating the innovation of agricultural and food systems that support climate action. The agricultural sector accounts for approximately 25 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.
The AIM for Climate initiative, which is one of the most significant practical steps the world has taken to accelerate the desired transformation in food systems, seeks to enhance the economic contribution of the agricultural sector and provide more job opportunities in this vital sector, which provides more than 2 billion jobs and feeds the entire planet.
The AIM for Climate initiative includes investments worth $13 billion in innovative agricultural systems and projects around the world, and has more than 500 government and non-governmental organisations around the world as partners.
In May last year, during the AIM for Climate Summit in Washington, D.C., the UAE joined the UK-led Agriculture Breakthrough Initiative, which primarily seeks to make sustainable climate-resilient agriculture the most attractive and adopted option for farmers around the world by 2030.
The UAE's accession to the Agriculture Breakthrough Initiative came due to its close alignment with the goals of the AIM for Climate initiative. Both initiatives provide a platform for collaboration, knowledge sharing, and experience exchange, which supports our efforts to develop the agricultural sector and remove carbon from its various operations, while ensuring the enhancement of our agricultural production in the future.
The United Arab Emirates has made several contributions to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)'s efforts to promote sustainable food security in the most vulnerable regions of the world.
The UAE continues to provide annual financial support to the FAO's regional office in the region and to support the success of the Horticultural Recovery and Growth Plan (HRGP) project in Zimbabwe.
In 2020, the UAE provided $1 million to support the FAO's campaign to control the desert locust in Eritrea. The UAE also signed a cooperation agreement with the FAO to implement a $4 million project aimed at enhancing the ability of rural women to cope with crises and promote sustainable income generation, food security, and nutrition in Liberia.
1 Billion Meals
The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, through its "1 Billion Meals" initiative, announced the provision of AED5.5 million to the United Nations Trust Fund "UNITLIFE". This is to support the development of innovative solutions in the field of agriculture, empower women and mothers, and combat malnutrition, especially among children, in Senegal, Niger, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, benefiting more than 300,000 people.
Locally, the UAE is working at a rapid pace to transform its food systems into sustainable systems through the use of modern technologies, innovative solutions, and stronger cooperation and partnerships between all segments of the local community, as well as global cooperation.
The UAE launched the National Food Security Strategy 2051 in 2018, with the aim of developing a comprehensive national system based on the principles of enabling sustainable food production.
The programme to accelerate the adoption of modern agricultural technology is one of the most important initiatives in the UAE to achieve food security. The programme has launched 10 strategic initiatives to facilitate the adoption of agricultural technology in the country.
In 2019, the UAE launched the world's largest food technology challenge, with the aim of exploring the technologies of the next decade that will efficiently and sustainably change traditional agricultural practices, as well as developing innovative solutions for the production and management of food in the UAE.
In 2020, the UAE Cabinet approved the formation of a task force to develop the modern agriculture sector in the country, as well as the national system for sustainable agriculture, to improve the efficiency of UAE farms, enhance self-sufficiency in food, and create new opportunities to ensure the sector is always ranked among the best.