Ministers Sajjan and Bibeau participate in Ministerial Conference “Uniting for Global Food Security” and announce $5 million matching fund in response to hunger crisis in Sub-Saharan Africa

As the world faces a food security crisis, Canada remains committed to being a reliable global partner in addressing global hunger, taking action on climate change, and collaborating with like-minded partners on solutions to lift people out of extreme poverty.

Canada is extremely concerned by the deepening global food and nutrition crisis and its impact on vulnerable groups, such as displaced populations, women and adolescents and children, particularly those in Sub-Saharan Africa. Insecurity and climate change, compounded by disruptions in food, fertilizer and fuel supply chains caused by the war in Ukraine, are exacerbating a humanitarian crisis that is leaving millions of people facing acute hunger.

Today the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada, and the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, participated in the Ministerial Conference “Uniting for Global Food Security,” where Minister Sajjan announced the launch of a matching fund as part of Canada’s response to the hunger crisis in Sub-Saharan Africa. Every donation made by individual Canadians to the Humanitarian Coalition and its members between June 15 and July 17, 2022, will be matched up to a maximum of $5 million.

The matching fund, created in collaboration with the Humanitarian Coalition, will help Canada mobilize resources to deliver life-saving services, including emergency food and nutrition assistance and emergency cash and vouchers, as well as necessary water, sanitation and health services to support food and nutrition outcomes.

During the Uniting for Global Food Security conference, G7 ministers, ministers from countries impacted by the food security crisis, members of the UN Global Crisis Response Group on Food, Energy and Finance, and international partners discussed joint actions in response to the multidimensional global crisis facing agriculture and food systems.

Ministers Sajjan and Bibeau, along with G7 partners, strongly condemned Russia’s illegal and unjustifiable invasion of Ukraine, including its blockade of Ukrainian ports, and emphasized the strain that it has placed on global food security. Ministers reinforced their commitment to provide support that enables Ukrainian farmers to feed their population and reiterated the importance of supporting Ukraine in exporting its grain to contribute to global food security.

Minister Sajjan highlighted Canada’s engagement in international and country-led efforts to address the current global food security crisis, including through the Global Alliance for Food Security and other efforts in close collaboration with international partners and organizations beyond the G7. Minister Sajjan met with Josefa Sacko, the African Union Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy and Sustainable Environment; Esther Penunia, Secretary General of the Asian Farmers’ Association for Sustainable Rural Development; Gabriel Ferrero, Chairperson of the UN Committee on World Food Security; and Mariam Bint Mohammed Saeed Hareb Almheiri, UAE Minister of State for Food and Water Security, to see what more Canada can do to strengthen food security around the world.

While contributing to the session on action for sustainable agri-food systems, Minister Bibeau reiterated Canada’s commitment to strengthening global food security and highlighted Canada’s leadership in adopting?environmentally friendly?practices and energy-efficient technologies, and reducing emissions. Participants agreed on the need to prioritize increasing food productivity in a sustainable manner by leveraging innovative solutions.

Both ministers reiterated Canada’s steadfast support for those most impacted by the global food security crisis, and for the Ukrainian people. They reaffirmed Canada’s commitment to work closely with G7 partners to help address the global food security crisis that has been exacerbated by Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.

Quotes

“The food crisis affects us all but is hardest felt by the most marginalized around the world, especially women and girls, and households that spend most of their income on food. People in Sub-Saharan Africa are experiencing unprecedented levels of food and nutrition insecurity. While in East Africa recently, I saw first-hand how local food systems, already stretched by climate change, COVID-19 recovery, and conflicts have now reached a tipping point. We cannot stand by as people starve. I encourage Canadians to donate to this matching fund that will help save lives. Collaboration and united action by us here in Canada and with our like-minded partners around the world are key to addressing these issues now.”

Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada

“In Canada, we are doing everything we can to help our agricultural producers maximize their production this year to tackle the global food security challenges we are facing. The consequences of Russia’s unjustifiable actions will significantly impact agricultural production around the world, worsening the situation for all. We are committed to working with our international partners at the G7 table and beyond to enhance our efforts to make our agri-food systems more resilient and to support global food security.”

Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Quick facts In 2022, the World Food Programme estimates that up to 345 million people are acutely food insecure or at high risk across 82 countries, of which up to 50 million people are facing emergency or worse levels of acute food insecurity requiring urgent humanitarian assistance. This includes populations in Ethiopia, Somalia and South Sudan, 3 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, who are currently facing famine.

The World Bank estimates that for each percentage-point increase in food prices, 10 million people are thrown into extreme poverty worldwide.

The matching fund is part of the recently announced $250 million to help address the global food security crisis, which builds on previous allocations of $514.5 million to address global food and nutrition needs in 2022.

Canada’s Humanitarian Coalition brings together leading humanitarian organizations to provide Canadians with a simple and effective way to help during international humanitarian disasters.

Members of the Humanitarian Coalition actively participate in established UN-led humanitarian coordination processes to ensure that aid is distributed effectively.

The Humanitarian Coalition’s members are Action Against Hunger Canada, Canadian Foodgrains Bank, Canadian Lutheran World Relief, CARE Canada, Doctors of the World Canada, Humanity & Inclusion Canada, Islamic Relief Canada, Oxfam Canada, Oxfam-Québec, Plan International Canada, Save the Children Canada and World Vision Canada.

Since 2020, Canada has contributed close to a billion dollars a year to gender-responsive humanitarian assistance around the world, including emergency food and nutrition as a key part of that response. Though much attention is on the crisis in Ukraine, Canada’s support is also addressing food security crises around the world, such as in the Horn of Africa, Afghanistan, South Sudan and Yemen.

Canada is also doubling its investment in the Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS) and is prioritizing early warning systems to reduce food price volatility for the most vulnerable.

In 2020-21, Canada disbursed $827 million for agriculture and food systems, including a significant focus on climate action and resilience, the largest annual disbursement to agriculture in 2 decades.

On June 23, 2022, the Government of Canada announced that the interest-free portion of the Advance Payments Program will increase from $100,000 to $250,000 for the 2022 and 2023 program years, which will make the purchase of important inputs such as fuel, fertilizer and seed more affordable for producers.

Source: Government of Canada

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