News, Rights And Governance

Global Alliance for the Future of Food to Co-Lead New Philanthropic Role Within Committee on World Food Security

Partnering with the Agroecology Fund and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, “Philanthropic Foundations Mechanism” will Coordinate Voice of Foundations Worldwide in the CFS. 

10 October 2022 

As part of the Global Alliance for the Future of Food’s effort to keep bold food systems transformation on the table in important global fora and processes, the Global Alliance for the Future of Food (GA) announced today with our partners at the Agroecology Fund (AEF) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) a new “Philanthropic Foundations Mechanism” (PFM) to coordinate the private philanthropic sector’s engagement with the critical work of the Committee on World Food Security. 

The Committee on World Food Security (CFS) is an inclusive international and intergovernmental platform of the United Nations that gathers stakeholders to work together to ensure global food security and nutrition. The CFS includes member states, participants and observers worldwide and the High-Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE) to provide independent, scientific knowledge-based analysis and advice. 

These are critical bodies in worldwide farming, food and agriculture policy, and coordinate approaches to food security at global, national and regional levels. The Committee is well known for developing and endorsing policy recommendations and guidance on a wide range of food security and nutrition topics. 

With ever-increasing systemic shocks and crises challenging global food security, the CFS and its work are more essential than ever. As interest from private philanthropic organizations to engage with the CFS has grown, the AEF, BMGF and the GA have developed a proposal to establish the Philanthropic Foundations Mechanism, which will –

  • Coordinate the participation of philanthropic organizations in the work of the CFS
  • Facilitate input from private philanthropic foundations to negotiations and consultations
  • Ensure contributions from the sector to the High-Level Panel of Experts process 
  • Contribute to decision-making

Through this mechanism, private philanthropies can take part in all inter-sessional activities and the CFS Annual Plenary. The PFM will also liaise with the Civil Society Mechanism and Private Sector Mechanism to advance the priorities of the CFS.

“As the philanthropic sector plays an ever more important role in food systems transformation and in responding to global food security challenges, it is deeply meaningful we are now represented as a community in the work of the Committee on World Food Security,” said Oliver Oliveros, Interim Executive Director of the Global Alliance for the Future of Food. “We take this responsibility seriously, and will be proactive in identifying and engaging a diverse, dynamic community of foundations to participate in this work.” 

Input and engagement from the wider philanthropic sector will be developed through a new Coordination Committee, with membership and participation open to all private foundations. The PFM will develop a robust outreach communication strategy and website, and seek input from foundation participants, their grantees and the general public. 

Together the three founding partners represent the collective voice and strength of dozens of philanthropies: the Global Alliance represents 30+ foundations; the Agroecology Fund is a network of 30+ foundations; the BMGF brings together an extensive network of partners worldwide. “This is a body that will seek consensus whenever possible, and work to be a strong voice for the philanthropic sector in global food security,” added Oliveros. 

BMGF was initially the lone philanthropic entity engaged with the CFS, holding a seat within the CFS Advisory Group since 2009 and coordinating with a small number of others to represent the voice of foundations within CFS processes. This represents a significant expansion of philanthropic engagement, moving towards a sector-wide mechanism to inform the CFS and its processes.

This reflects a continued effort from philanthropy to elevate food security and food systems transformation in global processes, from the sector’s engagement in COP-26 and COP-27, participation in the World Health Assembly and the GA’s advocacy for the Multi-Actor Food Systems Champions Network as an outcome of the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit, chaired by former GA Executive Director Ruth Richardson.

To receive updates or to be part of the Philanthropic Foundations Mechanism, please contact

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