Statement by Minister Paradis: World Food Day

October 16, 2013

Access to sufficient nutritious food is a fundamental building block of life, yet 842 million people around the world are hungry and nearly two billion more do not get enough healthy food, vitamins, and minerals to lead healthy and productive lives. Food security is also fundamental to achieving sustainable development and reducing poverty.

That is why Canada has made increasing food security in developing countries a priority. We are working with our partners to put not only more food on tables, but to put higher quality, more nutritious food on those tables. That is the basis of the Scaling Up Nutrition Movement, in which Canada is a leader, and the driver behind a number of our innovative partnerships. Nutrition is also a fundamental part of Canada’s Muskoka Initiative on Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health, which is working to prevent the deaths of 64,000 mothers and 1.3 million children under the age of five.

Canada is pursuing a comprehensive approach to building sustainable food systems that include nutrition and agriculture. Food security can only be achieved when agriculture systems are robust and farmers have the tools and knowledge they need. Through our partners, Canada is working to give all farmers, including women, access to the basic ingredients of farming—land, water, knowledge, and finance—so that they can provide for their families and contribute to the economic well-being of their communities.

We also contribute actively to the G-8 New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, which aims to bring 50 million people out of poverty over 10 years. The New Alliance is working with the private sector to unlock investment and increase agricultural production in Africa, where the majority of the world’s poorest people live.

I am immensely proud of the work of the many Canadians across the country who are helping to make hunger and malnutrition a thing of the past. On this World Food Day, Canadians can be proud of our government's continued commitment to give the world’s most vulnerable people the safe and nutritious food they need—and the ability to improve their livelihoods.

Christian Paradis
Minister of International Development and Minister for La Francophonie