June 23, 2022
Global food insecurity has been increasing dramatically over the past several years, and it is now being further and directly exacerbated by Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine. Countries around the globe, including many Commonwealth member states, are experiencing the impacts on global and local food systems, and these are felt more strongly by the most vulnerable and those already facing humanitarian crises.
While participating at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Kigali, Rwanda, Prime Minister Trudeau today announced $250 million to help address the global food security crisis. This funding will address the increasing global food and nutrition needs – especially for the most vulnerable and with a focus in Sub-Saharan Africa.
This funding will help key humanitarian food and nutrition partners, both Canadian and international, reach more people in more places with life-saving services. This includes food assistance, emergency cash and vouchers, and ready-to-use therapeutic food, often used for emergency feeding of malnourished children. This assistance is especially important for children living in crisis situations and facing acute hunger and malnutrition, or parents who have hardly enough food to feed their children, but will go hungry themselves.
Today’s announcement builds on previous commitments to address global food and nutrition needs. In 2022, Canada has already allocated $514.5 million for urgent humanitarian food and nutrition assistance.
Since 2020, Canada has allocated over $3 billion dollars for gender-responsive humanitarian assistance around the world. This includes support for emergency food and nutrition, safe drinking water, sanitation services, emergency health care, and temporary shelters to help meet the most pressing needs of people affected by crisis. This is also in addition to other international development investments in climate-smart and nature-based agricultural solutions, which help smallholder farmers adapt to the impacts of climate change so they can continue to produce nutritious and healthy foods.
Global food insecurity not only leads to hunger, famine, and death, it can also create increased instability and lead to conflict. Global grain stocks are very low, supply chains are fragile and under pressure, and rising costs threaten agricultural productivity. As a result, food prices are rising rapidly and at an all-time high, and food price inflation is the principal immediate concern, which is also impacting Canadians directly. Canada will continue to take action to address the causes and consequences of the global food crisis in coordination with others, to help build resilience, address the underlying vulnerabilities, and tackle the root causes leading to food insecurity. Investing in food security is important for the global economy and for Canadians, and Canada will continue to do so.