October 16, 2009: Winnipeg, Manitoba Ã¢â‚¬”¢ While visiting the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, the Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation, today unveiled CIDA’s Food Security Strategy, one of CIDA’s three thematic priorities.
“Building on Canada’s strengths, CIDA’s new Food Security Strategy will respond to the impacts of the food crisis, climate change and the global economic recession that has now moved over a billion of the world’s most vulnerable peoples into extreme hunger and starvation by supporting strategic, sustainable, and effective initiatives,” said Minister Oda. “CIDA will follow three pathsÃ¢â‚¬”¢food aid including nutrition, agriculture, and researchÃ¢â‚¬”¢toward helping developing countries become more food self-sufficient, an essential base for all long-term development. The new Canadian International Food Security Research Fund demonstrates our commitment to achieving results by finding practical solutions to increase agricultural productivity, primarily aimed at smallholder farmers.”
CIDA’s strategy is designed to empower the poorest and most disadvantaged by reducing their vulnerability to various factors that impact their food security, including food shortages, market barriers, and constraints to agricultural productivity. The Food Security Strategy includes short-, medium-, and long-term measures to increase agricultural development, provide more effective food assistance, promote nutrition as a key consideration in food security, and spur innovative and practical research.
Minister Oda announced a new Canadian International Food Security (CIFS) Research Fund. This $62-million fund, a joint initiative between CIDA and the International Development Research Centre, will support research partnerships between Canadian and developing-country organizations. Research activities will focus on applied research to address food insecurity, and may include work on crop resilience, the nutritional value of crops, and infectious diseases related to crops and animal production.
“IDRC has long supported research on agriculture, and we are very pleased to continue this proud Canadian tradition jointly with CIDA,” said IDRC President David Malone. “Our partnership will bring together the best minds in Canada and the developing regions of the world to find lasting, research-based solutions for world food security.”
CIDA’s Food Security Strategy also builds on Prime Minister Harper’s 2009 G8 Summit announcement made in L’Aquila, Italy, that Canada would more than double its investment in sustainable agricultural development with an additional $600 million in funding over three years.
As part of that commitment, the Government of Canada will double its support to the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to $75 million over three years and support two Challenge Programs undertaken by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR).
Minister Oda also pointed out that CIDA will work with other partners to improve the accessibility, management and storage of food aid. She highlighted CIDA’s support for the World Food Programme’s innovative Purchase for Progress (P4P) pilot programs in Afghanistan and Ghana.
“WFP counts on Canada’s profound commitment to fight hunger in the world,” said WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran. “Once again, Canada is showing bold leadership with a comprehensive new strategy which supports forward-looking approaches to food security to show us how we can end hunger in the 21st century.”
The Food Security Strategy will build on Canada’s strong foundations as the third largest single country donor to the World Food Programme, the Vice-Chair of the Food Aid Convention, and a leader in supporting programs of recognized organizations such as IFAD, CGIAR, and the World Bank.
The Food Security Strategy complements CIDA’s other thematic priorities areas of Sustainable Economic Growth, and Children and Youth, and maximizes Canadian leadership toward increased aid effectiveness.