"The World and Japan" Database (Project Leader: TANAKA Akihiko)
Database of Japanese Politics and International Relations
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS); Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA), The University of Tokyo

[Title] G7 Famine Prevention and Humanitarian Crises Compact

[Place] London
[Date] May 5, 2021
[Source] Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
[Full text]


1. The world faces an unprecedented humanitarian crisis resulting from the triple threat of conflict, climate change and Covid-19. Caseloads are growing, with 237 million people requiring humanitarian assistance this year. So is severity, with the UN reporting over 34 million people now in IPC 4 – one step from catastrophe or famine. Yemen, South Sudan and north-east Nigeria are at immediate risk of famine, and Tigray in Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Burkina Faso and the Central Sahel, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Sudan and Syria are also of particular concern. For these tens of millions of people, who rely on aid or have been forced from their homes, with their children on the verge of starvation, a bout of diarrhoea or measles is enough to kill.

2. This is not only about money. It is also about diplomatic action, smarter financing and more effective responses to crises. We commit to act now to: address critical funding gaps; promote humanitarian access; respect for International Humanitarian Law and protection of civilians; scale-up anticipatory action; partner with the World Bank Group to enhance crisis preparedness and response; and strengthen our data and analysis to facilitate early action.

3. Through commitments in these five areas, we will lead international efforts to prevent famine and begin to stem the growth of humanitarian need, working closely with the UN High-Level Task Force on Preventing Famine. We will help ensure people have access to food, clean water and sanitation, that their children have access to lifesaving malnutrition treatment and vaccinations and that all civilians, including women and girls, are protected from violence. We will progress the G7 Broad Approach to Food Security and Nutrition, adopted in Elmau, Germany in 2015; support the Italian Presidency's G20 food security efforts; back an ambitious IDA20 replenishment; and further our collaboration through the UN Food Systems Summit, COP 26 and the Tokyo Nutrition for Growth Summit. We will ensure the continuous monitoring of our commitments.


4. Of the more than a quarter of a million people who died in the 2011 famine in Somalia, half died before famine was even declared. More funding is needed, now.

5. We, the G7, therefore, commit to:

- Provide an initial $.1.5 billion of humanitarian and related resilience-strengthening support to the three countries at risk of famine – $800 million to Yemen, $341 million to South Sudan and $382 million to Nigeria – and to disburse these funds as soon as possible.

- Provide an initial $7 billion in humanitarian assistance and related resilience- strengthening support to the 42 countries with populations one step from catastrophe or famine (including the three at risk of famine), with further allocations to come in 2021.

- Invest more in strengthening the resilience of vulnerable people to support prevention.

- Provide principled humanitarian assistance, and to ensure the humanitarian action of our partners is guided by humanity, impartiality, neutrality and independence.

- Ensure that our funding is timely; multi-sector, including nutrition, health, including in support of sexual and reproductive health and rights, water and sanitation and protection as well as food assistance; gender, age and disability- sensitive; and in line with our Grand Bargain Commitments, especially those on localisation, cash programming and predictable and flexible funding, including for NGOs.

6. We provided almost 80 per cent of the humanitarian funding received by these 42 countries in 2020. We call on partners beyond the G7 to significantly increase their humanitarian assistance to these crises, and call on the private sector and foundations to increase their contributions.

7. Governments have the primary responsibility to address the needs of their own populations. We will continue to support governments to discharge this responsibility by helping them to grow their fiscal space, to access climate adaptation finance, support rapid Covid-19 vaccine roll-out and address the root causes of conflict. More coherent and better coordinated support to humanitarian, development and peace programmes in conflict situations, in line with the OECD DAC Recommendation on the Nexus, can also help prevent crises, reduce need and strengthen the resilience of the most vulnerable to future crises.


8. Humanitarian access must be guaranteed, International Humanitarian Law (IHL) respected, civilians (including medical and humanitarian workers), schools, hospitals and water infrastructure protected and the disproportionate impact of conflict on women, girls and marginalised groups addressed. Many of those obstructing humanitarian access and committing violations of IHL are not being held to account. Impunity will not be tolerated.

9. We, therefore, commit to:

- Work to improve collective action at the UN Security Council to address the use of starvation as a method of warfare, obstructions to humanitarian access and failures to protect civilians, using Resolutions 2417, 2286 and other relevant mechanisms.

- Develop joint strategies at the country-level to influence the behaviour of parties to the conflict, addressing obstructions to humanitarian access and failures to comply with International Humanitarian Law which heighten inter alia the risk of famine.

- Support action to prevent and respond to sexual and gender-based violence, exploitation, economic harm and health impacts experienced by women and girls in conflict and crises.

- Renew our efforts to deliver the 2018 Toronto commitments on Promoting Implementation of International Humanitarian Law.*1*


10. There is compelling evidence that anticipating shocks and releasing pre-agreed funds in advance for activities to mitigate their impact, such as protecting assets including livestock, rehabilitating water sources or vaccinating children before a drought, is more efficient, more dignified and protects hard-won development gains.

11. We, therefore, commit to:

- Increase anticipatory action throughout the humanitarian system, including through our funding at the country level, and harness complementary finance and planning by drawing on climate and disaster risk finance and development funds.

- Seek to grow support to the Central Emergency Response Fund to enable it to more than double the number of anticipatory action frameworks it finances, and support expansion of this approach to the Country-Based Pooled Funds, to better address shocks in conflict.

- Seek to grow support to the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund and the Start Fund to ensure local, including women-led, organisations can access finance to act ahead of shocks.


12. To begin to stem the growth in humanitarian need, we must strengthen countries' own crisis preparedness and response, particularly those in conflict. The World Bank is well positioned to do this through IDA19 and 20, drawing on its strategy Conflict and Violence (FCV), in coordination with the UN, humanitarian donors, other multilateral and regional development banks and peace and security actors at the country level.

13. As leading shareholders and donors, we will work with the World Bank Group to:

- Strengthen IDA's crisis toolkit, including analytical and advisory tools and financing instruments, to better incentivise preparedness planning, especially in countries experiencing conflict, with meaningful participation of civil society and women-led organisations.

- Deliver on the agreement of the IDA Deputies and World Bank management to double the ceiling for Early Response Financing to $1 billion for the remainder of IDA19, to address rising humanitarian needs, and support an adequately resourced IDA Private Sector Window.

- Support shock-responsive and social protection systems in more of the most vulnerable and conflict-affected countries, and enhance support to existing systems, including through strengthening the linkages between humanitarian assistance and national systems.


14. The Integrated Phase Classification (IPC) remains the gold standard for food security data and analysis. We must ensure its integrity and complement it with data and analysis that offers longer-range projections, is real-time, covers all sectors, includes mortality and captures the needs of women and girls. But we will not let lack of data be a barrier to timely action to save lives.

15. We, therefore, commit to:

- Act early on a “no regrets” basis to prevent excess mortality, even when robust data is not yet available.

- Support the IPC's consensus-based model and work together at country-level to tackle any political interference in analysis.

- Strengthen early warning and real-time analysis, supporting country-level multi-sectoral data collection and coordination and working with the Global Network Against Food Crises to deliver analysis that is timely, multi-sectoral and encompasses mortality.

- Support partners to ensure food security analyses, such as the World Food Programme's Vulnerability Analysis and Mapping, are fully disaggregated by sex, age and disability.

{*1* Under the Commitments, the G7 will, as appropriate: seek commitments from partners to enhance respect for International Humanitarian Law (IHL); continue to help increase the capacity of state and, when relevant, non- state partners to implement IHL by assisting them to incorporate IHL into their doctrine, education, field training, operational decision-making processes and rules of engagement; and assist partners in ensuring that their disciplinary and/or judicial structures are capable of effectively addressing their own IHL violations should they occur and holding persons accountable for IHL violations in accordance with applicable requirements of international law.}