German Federal Development Minister Svenja Schulze in conversation with civil society – The Hunger Project, Germany was there.
On November 13, 2023 the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), which is the second-largest bilateral donor worldwide, hosted a dialogue event in Berlin. Federal Development Minister Ms. Svenja Schulze spoke with German representatives of civil society about joint approaches to „effectively combating poverty, hunger and inequality worldwide“. Our Country Director Suna Karakas represented The Hunger Project (THP) in the dialogue roundtable discussions.
Currently, almost one in 10 people is affected by hunger worldwide. Minister Schulze emphasized that we must tackle structural causes and that different approaches are needed due to the close links between poverty, hunger and inequality. She said that civil society actors are an important partner in this process with valuable knowledge and expertise.
She also pointed out that we need to create different agricultural food systems. The development of social safety net systems as well as good work and jobs are key to combating poverty. „In order to combat the structural causes of hunger and poverty, we also need democratic structures and processes. However, these must emerge in the countries, from within,“ said Ms. Schulze.
In the panel discussion with Angela Bähr, Deputy Chairwoman of VENRO, and Martin Wolpold-Bosien, consultant for global food policy, further important aspects were discussed. The focus on strengthening human rights was mentioned as a necessity for overall political action as well as achieving just systems. Ms. Bähr emphasized the need for community-based and women-centered approaches. She appealed for the budget for German Development Cooperation to not be cut any further under any circumstances. Ms. Schulze mentioned that despite the slow current progress in achieving the SDGs, we must not let up our joint efforts. The pressure must remain on the global community to work towards meeting the SDG goals by 2030.
Various key questions were discussed between Ms. Schulze and civil society representatives from German NGOs in round table dialogues. These included how civil society organizations can work effectively with the BMZ and contribute to ending hunger and malnutrition worldwide by 2030. The key buzz word of the dialogue talks that evening became LOCALIZATION.
Suna Karakas, the Country Director of THP Germany took part in the roundtable dialogue and highlighted:
„In order to effectively address hunger, poverty and systems of inequity, it is important to involve local actors (communities, local NGOs, and municipalities) more closely in development processes. The focus should be directed towards women, girls and other vulnerable groups. They are affected the most by inequalities.“ She also emphasized that we need to more strongly advance local food systems and strengthen their climate resiliency. „Women smallholder farmers and young people are often faced with barriers in the agricultural sector. They need access to knowledge, land, sales markets and microcredits. We must break down these barriers in order to transform the systems of inequity.„
Transforming systems of inequity is also at the heart of the new THP mission. Read more here: Vision & Mission (in German)