Germany's Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and several businesses have announced commitments totaling €80 million to address food scarcity around the globe.
Announced at the conclusion of a private meeting held in Berlin, the commitments include about $27 million each from the Gates Foundation and the ministry and an additional $53.9 million from German and European businesses. As part of the joint effort, the ministry and business representatives from the German Food Partnership, an alliance of thirty-five German and European businesses, in conjunction with the Asian German Rice Initiative, will work to address hunger in developing countries by boosting the nutritional value and production of critical staple food crops such as potatoes and rice.
At the same time, the ministry will continue to work with the Gates Foundation to improve nutrition-sensitive agricultural projects, with the goal of increasing agricultural productivity and improving nutritional outcomes for smallholder farmers and their families. Working with its partners, BMZ also will develop collaboration guidelines for the agricultural and food sectors.
"That there are two billion malnourished people in the world is a scandal," said Development Minister Dirk Niebel. "Malnourishment, particularly in children, causes lasting damage. That is why we are joining forces with Bill Gates and the business community to fight world hunger."