Canada increases support for global food security through the World Food Programme and the Canadian Foodgrains Bank

The Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation, and Ms Josette Sheeran, Executive Director, United Nations World Food Programme © acdi-cida/Brigitte Bouvier
Minister Oda announcing the Government of Canada's continued support to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the Canadian Foodgrains Bank. Minister Oda is accompanied by WFP Executive Director, Josette Sheeran.

October 26, 2011

Ottawa, Ontario—Today, the Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation, announced the Government of Canada's continued support to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the Canadian Foodgrains Bank (CFGB). The Minister's announcement came on the eve of WFP's upcoming 50th anniversary and during the official visit to Canada of WFP Executive Director, Josette Sheeran.

Today's announcement, totalling $350 million over five years, delivers on Canada's objectives related to food security, as well as those related to children and youth and maternal, newborn and child health and nutrition.

"I am proud to strengthen Canada's relationship with WFP on the occasion of its 50th anniversary. WFP is always one of the first responders in crisis situations, and its expertise has made it a world leader in logistics and operational management in many challenging environments," said Minister Oda. "Canada's support will help further WFP's excellent work in saving lives during emergencies and providing school feeding programs. I commend WFP on its continued efforts to find innovative approaches to integrate nutrition into its programs, increase effectiveness, and support local farmers and markets".

WFP is CIDA's largest humanitarian partner. Over the next five years, CIDA's support will help WFP's humanitarian emergency and transitional food assistance programming meet the immediate food assistance needs of vulnerable populations affected by natural disasters and complex humanitarian situations.

CIDA's additional four-year commitment to WFP's school feeding program will be used to purchase, deliver and distribute nutritious food to school children, particularly girls, to help increase enrolment and attendance rates and improve children's concentration, learning and academic performance. For example, in a typical year, 690,000 children in Ethiopia will receive nutritionally fortified, cooked meals and 300,000 children in Niger with be given two hot meals a day, both fortified with micronutrients.

This announcement follows the signing by Minister Oda and Ms. Sheeran of a strategic partnership framework between CIDA and WFP. This five-year framework outlines shared principles, objectives and priorities to implement new ways of working together toward common goals of reducing hunger, improving nutrition and addressing the needs of people affected by conflict, natural disasters and poverty.

"As we are at a critical time in the fight against hunger, Canadian's investment and leadership in effective global action is not only saving lives but helping break the circle of hunger and malnutrition," said Ms. Sheeran.

Minister Oda also announced a five-year commitment to the Canadian Foodgrains Bank (CFGB), CIDA's largest Canadian food assistance partner. CFGB provides food and development assistance to people in need through its 15 Canadian church-based member agencies.

"Canada can be proud of the work being done by CFGB, which is grounded in local communities across the country. CIDA's support will help CFGB to provide food assistance to ease the suffering of people in emergency and chronic hunger situations worldwide and help communities rebuild their livelihoods," said Minister Oda. "By working together, we are making a real difference in the lives of the world's most vulnerable people."

"Our member agencies, global partners, and supporters across the country are deeply appreciative of this continued support. It enables us to reach many more people with food and other assistance and to do so in a timely way," said Jim Cornelius, Executive Director, CFGB. "The long-standing partnership with CIDA allowed us to respond to the food crisis in East Africa long before it was in the news and will enable us to continue providing assistance during the recovery process long after the news cameras are turned off."

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For more information:

Justin Broekema
Press Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation
Telephone: 819-953-6238
Email: justin.broekema@acdi-cida.gc.ca

Media Relations Office
Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
Telephone: 819-953-6534
Email: media@acdi-cida.gc.ca

Backgrounder

CIDA and the World Food Programme: A strategic partnership

The world is facing many challenges to meet global food security. Currently, international experts are reporting that 925 million people suffer from chronic hunger, that world food stocks are at the lowest levels ever, that higher food prices have moved an additional 44 million people into poverty, and that increased disasters and crises are affecting arable lands and food sources. The international needs and demands for urgent and longer-term food assistance are growing. To meet these challenges, CIDA has chosen food security as one of its priority themes.

The World Food Programme (WFP) is a key humanitarian partner for providing food assistance to vulnerable populations as a means of addressing hunger and global food insecurity and of saving lives of people affected by conflict, natural disasters and poverty. Canada's largest humanitarian aid partner is WFP. Canada is the second largest single country donor to WFP. To further Canada's relationship with WFP, on October 26, 2011, the Minister of International Cooperation and the Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme signed a strategic partnership framework with the following shared objectives:

  • Enable a more rapid and effective response to humanitarian needs
  • Place food assistance within the context of the broader food security agenda
  • Support the advancement of equality between men and women and the empowerment of women
  • Support school feeding programs as a valuable social safety net mechanism
  • Promote an enhanced focus on nutrition and the quality of the food
  • Support local procurement of commodities and services
  • Support WFP's advancement of specific humanitarian reform objectives
  • Continue to promote the value of untying food assistance
  • Support flexible and predictable funding to ensure WFP can meet the needs of vulnerable populations in a timely manner

Canada, through CIDA, remains committed to meeting the needs of vulnerable populations through its Food Security Strategy, seeking to reduce hunger globally by providing food assistance to vulnerable populations and building resilience to reduce food insecurity in the longer term.

Backgrounder

Canada increases support for global food security through the World Food Programme and the Canadian Foodgrains Bank

The world is facing many challenges to meet global food security. Currently, international experts are reporting that 925 million people are living in hunger. World food stocks are at the lowest levels ever, higher food prices have moved an additional 44 million people into poverty, and increased disasters and crises are affecting arable lands and food sources. The international needs and demands for urgent and longer-term food assistance are growing. To meet these challenges, CIDA has chosen food security as one of its priority themes.

The Government of Canada's commitment to long-term support of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and its school meals programmes as well as to the Canadian Foodgrains Bank reinforces CIDA's strong record of supporting food security and nutrition.

Support to United Nations World Food Programme

WFP is CIDA's largest humanitarian partner, and in 2010, Canada was the second most important single country donor to WFP. CIDA's contribution in 2010 helped WFP reach 109.2 million people in 75 countries with 4.6 million tonnes of food. This food assistance was distributed with more targeted and innovative tools than ever before, involving enhanced nutritious foods and purchases from local farmers.

CIDA's support to WFP will help meet the food assistance needs of vulnerable populations and, as such, contribute to greater global food security. CIDA's support provides WFP with the flexibility to determine where food assistance needs are greatest. Specifically, this funding helps WFP reach its objectives to:

  • Save lives and protect livelihoods in emergencies, with a focus on internally displaced populations, refugees, and other vulnerable populations
  • Prevent acute hunger and invest in disaster preparedness and mitigation measures
  • Restore and rebuild lives and livelihoods in post-conflict, post-disaster or transition situations
  • Reduce chronic hunger and undernutrition

($125 million over five years)

WFP School Meals Programmes

CIDA will continue to support WFP in providing daily meals to the more than 22 million children fed annually through these programs. WFP is the world's largest provider of nutritious school meals to improve educational and nutrition outcomes. In some cases, school feeding programs provide take-home rations as an added incentive to increase enrolment and to provide for better family nutrition.

($100 million over four years)

Support to Canadian Foodgrains Bank

The Canadian Foodgrains Bank is CIDA's largest Canadian food assistance partner. CIDA has supported the Canadian Foodgrains Bank since 1983, which has helped reach 2.3 million beneficiaries in 35 countries in 2010-2011, representing almost 35,000 tonnes of food assistance.

CIDA's five-year commitment to the Canadian Foodgrains Bank will help to continue reducing hunger and malnutrition in developing countries. With CIDA support, the Canadian Foodgrains Bank will be able purchase and distribute food assistance to ease the suffering of people in emergency and chronic hunger situations worldwide and to help communities rebuild their livelihoods.

($125 million over five years)

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