Increasing Food Security

Increasing food security is one of Canada's three priority international development themes, as outlined in Canada's Aid Effectiveness Agenda. The Government of Canada is committed to making Canada's international assistance more effective, more focused, and more accountable. The priority themes are supported by three crosscutting themes.

Canada's Role

About 870 million men, women and children around the world face chronic hunger. Lack of access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food is one of the major obstacles to reducing poverty in developing countries.

Canada has a strong record of helping increase global food security through its decision to untie 100 percent of its food assistance budget in 2008 and was one of the first donor countries to increase support during the 2008 food and fuel crises in the developing world. In April 2011, Canada was the first G-8 country to fully meet its L'Aquila Summit commitment and disburse $1.18 billion for sustainable agricultural development. Canada chaired the negotiations leading to the new Food Assistance Convention which brought together the leading food assistance donors, and is continuing to play a key role through the Convention in shaping the global response to hunger.

The challenges to food security—including low productivity, high costs, and a lack of modern techniques and technology—are well known. Canada's Food Security Strategy responds to these challenges and focuses on food assistance and nutrition, sustainable agricultural development, and research and development.

Strategy highlights

Food assistance and Nutrition

  • Encouraging flexible, predictable food security funding by the donor community;
  • Promoting the use of social safety nets, food distribution systems, and school feeding programs;
  • Working with other countries to implement the Food Assistance Convention;
  • Supporting nutrition considerations in broader food security initiatives, including increasing programming to promote life-saving nutrient food supplements such as Vitamin A and salt iodization; and
  • Supporting and strengthening national and regional food reserves, as well as food crisis alert and prevention systems.

Sustainable Agricultural Development

  • More than doubling Canada's investment in sustainable agricultural development;
  • Supporting national and regional agriculture strategies; and
  • Strengthening agricultural and rural development policies and management processes particularly those affecting small rural farmers especially women farmers.

Research and Development

  • Supporting the Canadian International Food Security Research Fund, a partnership between the former CIDA and the International Development Research Centre to encourage practical, applied research between Canadian and developing country organizations;
  • Strengthening national and regional agricultural research systems; and
  • Ensuring research results are transferred to benefit developing countries.

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Key Partners