The Covid-19 pandemic has shed light on the fragility and unsustainability of global and local food systems. The pandemic has worked as an accelerator of the sense of urgency to take bold commitments towards the transformation of food systems in order to bring back SDG2 (Hunger eradication) on track.
A consensus exists that structural transformations towards sustainable, resilient, and equitable food systems include the way in which food is produced, accessed, distributed, valued, and consumed. It is acknowledged that sustainable food systems require that economic, social, cultural, and environmental dimensions and their trade-offs be fully integrated in policy and investment planning. They also entail ashift from one-size-fits-all solutions to local and context-specific approaches.
They finally call for a major change in the mindset and stronger collaboration of the involved public and business actors, as well as civil society. These are the challenges posed to the global events and summits that are planned to take place in 2021 and 2022.
UNCDF has a long experience with both direct and indirect interventions in food systems and food security. Over time its initial focus on the support to local governments’ investments in public goods and services through its Local Development Fund(LDF) has been expanded to include the question of how public expenditure can stimulate Local Economic Development (LED) through the promotion of productive activities in agriculture and agricultural value chains.
With the growing momentum on localizing SDGs and in line with the ongoing process towards food system transformation, UNCDF’s is launching The Local Food Supply Chains Alliance which seeks to address a combination of priority areas that have emerged from national dialogues and game-changing solutions contributed by a variety of stakeholders.
The Alliance aims to contribute to the transformation of local food systems to withstand disruption and shocks in the short term, support resilient and inclusive economies and societies in the long term. The approach is game-changing as it mobilizes technical resources, capital investment and stakeholders at local, national, regional, continental and global levels for structural transformation of food systems.