Canada leads global food security initiatives
May 24, 2013 - Canada's leadership on food security and nutrition is contributing to the reduction of poverty, hunger, and malnutrition in developing countries. The Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of International Cooperation, participated today in a round table in Rome to discuss global food security and nutrition, and the role of private sector partnerships.
"Ensuring access to safe and nutritious food is a priority of Canada's international assistance to developing countries," said Minister Fantino. "Canada urges international partners to seize opportunities and engage the private sector in improving food security for developing countries."
During the round table, attended by the heads of the World Food Programme (WFP),International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and Food and Agriculture Organization, Minister Fantino highlighted Canada's commitment to reducing poverty and promoting sustainable development in developing countries including through increasing the role of the private sector in agriculture, nutrition, and food security.
Following the round table, Minister Fantino announced further support to the WFP to help it meet the immediate food-assistance and nutrition needs of vulnerable people in a range of situations involving humanitarian crises and food insecurity around the world. This includes countries such as Somalia, Niger, and Yemen. This support is in response to the WFP's 2013 humanitarian appeal.
In addition, Minister Fantino announced support toWFP's Humanitarian Logistics Base in Djibouti. This logistics hub will improve the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of food assistance provided by the WFP in the Horn of Africa.
"Canada is the WFP's second-largest donor and one of our most important allies in the fight against hunger," said Ertharin Cousin, Executive Director of the WFP. "Canada's leadership in food security and nutrition helps ensure the WFP's ability to rapidly respond to emergency and crisis situations, maintain food in our program pipelines, innovatively address the challenges of chronic malnutrition, as well as accurately plan and manage resources better, facilitating our ability to maximize the cost-efficiency of our operations."
Minister Fantino also reaffirmed Canada's long-term support to the IFAD, whose mission is to empower people to grow more food, better manage their land and other natural resources, learn new skills, start small businesses, build strong organizations, and gain a voice in decisions that affect their lives. This support will increase rural people's access to agricultural technologies, financial services, markets, and land through country-specific solutions.
As well, Canada is contributing to the IFAD's Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme. This program helps smallholder farmers reduce their crop-yield losses, gain increased access to water supplies, use water resources more efficiently, and build individual and community-level capacity to adapt to weather challenges.
"As a founding member of the IFAD, Canada has long been an important partner for the fund.'' said Kanayo F. Nwanze, President of the IFAD. "Our partnership is based upon shared priorities and approaches to achieving global food and nutrition security, from enabling poor smallholder farmers to have improved access to financial services and markets, to helping them adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change. In addition, we both recognize the distinct and critical role played by women in all aspects of food production and rural life."
Canada continues to be a leader in advancing the global food security and nutrition agenda, including the need to adapt agricultural practices and inputs. Economic Action Plan 2013 affirms Canada's commitment to international development investments including those aimed at increasing food security and nutrition. The new Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development will also maintain the mandate of poverty alleviation and help achieve greater efficiency, accountability, and focus to continue to improve the lives of people in need around the world.
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For more information, media should contact:
Daniel Bezalel Richardsen
Press Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation
Minister Fantino held a round table on global food security and nutrition, and engagement in private sector partnerships. The participants included:
- Ambassador James Fox, Ambassador to Italy, and Permanent Representative of Canada to the Food and Agriculture Agencies of the United Nations, co-host of the meeting
- Dr. José Graziano da Silva, Director-General, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
- Dr. Kanayo F. Nwanze, President, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
- Ms. Ertharin Cousin, Executive Director, United Nations World Food Programme (WFP)
- H. E. David Lane, Ambassador of the United States of America to the United Nations Agencies in Rome
- Dr. Yaya Olaniran, Chair, Committee on World Food Security; Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the FAO
Canada and the World Food Programme
Canada has been a long-standing partner of the WFP. In 2012, Canada was the third-largest overall donor and the second-largest single-country donor to the WFP. Canada supported the creation of the WFP in 1961, and has been supporting its mission consistently over the past fifty years. Each year, Canada responds generously to appeals issued by the WFP. As such, Canada is providing over $96 million to the WFP in response to its 2013 appeals to meet the urgent needs of millions of people in humanitarian crises and situations of food insecurity in such countries as Somalia, Niger, and Yemen.
Canada is also providing $14 million to WFP's Humanitarian Logistics Base in Djibouti. The Djibouti logistics hub will consist of 40,000 tonnes of high-quality silo storage capacity, 25,000 tonnes of traditional bagged food storage, 2,500 m2 of non-food item storage, and a 200-unit container yard. The hub will allow for faster delivery times for food assistance to reach beneficiaries in Ethiopia and other countries, including Sudan and South Sudan, Kenya, and Somalia.
Canada and the International Fund for Agricultural Development
Canada is a founding member of the IFAD. As of January 2012, Canada was the third-largest contributor to the IFAD. Since 1978, the IFAD has empowered more than 400 million people to grow more food, better manage their land and other natural resources, learn new skills, start small businesses, build strong organizations, and gain a voice in decisions that affect their lives.
Canada is providing $75 million in support to the IFAD (2013–2015). This funding will help increase access by the rural poor to agricultural technologies, financial services, markets, land, and other natural resources to improve food security and nutrition. It will also help increase the adoption of renewable energy sources at the farm and community levels, and low-cost technologies to help smallholder farmers improve their productivity and increase their resilience to economic and weather-related shocks that can affect their livelihoods.
The IFAD's Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme also received $19.9 million to help poor rural smallholder farming communities withstand the effects of climate change and weather-related disasters. It supports the creation and sharing of knowledge, approaches and practices related to climate change adaptation. Canada's support to the ASAP will help farmers reduce their crop-yield losses, gain increased access to water supplies, use water resources more efficiently, and build individual and community-level capacity to adapt to climate change.
Canada and the Food and Agriculture Organization
Canada is a key partner of the FAO in the fight to end hunger and malnutrition. Thanks to timely contributions from the Government of Canada, including extra-budgetary support, FAO has been able to respond rapidly to agricultural threats and emergencies around the globe, helping farmers, pastoralists, and fishers get back on their feet as quickly as possible while working to ensure long-term food and nutrition security. This has included support to:
- Senegal, Sri Lanka, and Honduras for programs to rebuild livelihoods and develop long-term food security;
- South Sudan to provide young men and women with tools and training to start a new life in farming, rearing livestock, and fishing;
- West Bank and Gaza to strengthen the governments' response to animal disease outbreaks; and
- Pakistan to provide seeds and tools following the 2010 floods.
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