Rachael McDonnell of IWMI, a research centre of CGIAR, recently gave oral evidence to the UK Parliament International Development Committee’s session on the UK government’s work towards achieving UN Sustainable Development Goal 2: Zero Hunger. The session took place at Portcullis House and focused not only on nutrition but also climate change, which is leading to chronic food shortages across the globe.

During the session, Theo Clarke, Conservative MP for Stafford, asked about the FCDO’s work on food security and how well UK government departments are working together to ensure policy is aligned to address SDG2. In her answer, Dr McDonnell highlighted the importance of FCDO’s funding of CGIAR as a catalyst to improving food system research. She then discussed CGIAR’s current collaborations with UK research institutes through the UK-CGIAR Centre.     

We are delighted to work with UK research institutions, and we are beginning to do that with a new amount of funding. There is a lot of overlap that we can bring in terms of our understanding of the global south, and the ability to link it to global north innovation, but some new thinking is needed if we are going to really address the big problem for SDG 2.   

Later in the session, Dr McDonnell also mentioned specifically the work of the John Innes Centre, Scotland’s Rural College, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and the University of Leeds. These institutes are the UK leads for the Centre’s four commissioned projects.   

A video of the session is available at and a transcript can be downloaded here.