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Camp David’s Strong Success on Food and Nutrition

John Kirton, G8 Research Group
May 20, 2012

The G8 Camp David Summit’s performance on food and nutrition — the focus for and full extent of the summit’s development agenda — was a strong success. The Camp David Summit launched an African-led, broadly multistakeholder New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, with an ambitious, results-oriented target and timetable of lifting “50 million people out of poverty over the next decade.” It was backed by new money mobilized — $1.3 billion in direct financial support over three years, $3 billion in new investment from the 45 corporate partners and a continuation of the new high levels of official development assistance reached by G8 governments as their L’Aquila Food Security Initiative commitments were fulfilled by the end of 2012.

In doing so, Camp David’s leaders explicitly aimed at achieving the United Nations Millennium Development Goals by their due date in 2015. In effect they adopted on of the eight — the one on food — just as the G8 summit in Muskoka in 2010 had adopted the two that were furthest from being reached — those on child and maternal health. Camp David’s leaders also reaffirm their commitment to the Muskoka Initiative on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health through the release of the Camp David Accountability Report. Following the model of the 2010 Harper-Kikwete Commission on accountability for child and maternal health, Camp David’s leaders created a leadership council to perform a similar task for their new alliance and actions on food and nutrition. They further confirmed that they would produce a comprehensive report on accountability under the United Kingdom’s presidency of the G8 in 2013, thus going well beyond Camp David’s report on health and food alone.

Behind these results lay an impressive and innovative process. The Camp David’s G8 had invited African leaders to participate in their summit session on development, as they had since 2001. But this time it was with a set of largely new African leaders — those who had already taken ownership of their food security challenge and started to address it in an approach that put investment and multistakeholders first, looking to G8 financial assistance last, not first. In this way, Camp David fulfilled the new vision launched in the G8 Africa Action Plan at the Kananaskis Summit ten years in 2002.

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