CANADIAN INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AGENCY - CIDA

CANADIAN INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AGENCY - CIDA

December 03, 2009 15:51 ET

Canada Announces Additional Support to the World Food Programme

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 3, 2009) - The Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation, today announced that Canada will contribute an additional $30 million to the World Food Programme (WFP) to support its operations. This will help the WFP to meet the immediate food aid needs of vulnerable populations and respond to a range of humanitarian situations around the world. The Minister's announcement came during the visit to Canada of Terri Toyota, Director of Government Donor Relations for the WFP.

"Recognizing that Food Security is key to survival and sustainable development, we have made it one of CIDA's priorities around which we are focusing our international assistance," said Minister Oda. "As the number of people who have moved into extreme poverty and hunger increases around the globe, Canada continues to respond as the third largest single-country donor to the World Food Programme. The additional funding I am announcing today will help meet the needs of an estimated 17 million vulnerable people in a range of humanitarian situations."

"This donation has come at a crucial time when, for the first time in human history, the number of hungry people worldwide will exceed one billion," said Ms. Toyota. "Canada continues to show bold leadership with a comprehensive approach to the world's food security solutions."

CIDA's $30-million contribution is in addition to the $185 million provided to the WFP so far in 2009, and will help meet the food and nutrition needs of an estimated 14 million beneficiaries in seven countries in Africa, the Middle East, and South America. It will also help meet the food and nutrition needs of approximately 3.7 million refugees who live in difficult conditions for long periods of time and rely completely on international assistance to meet their most basic needs. This funding will help ensure that WFP continues to respond quickly and effectively to the urgent needs of vulnerable populations.

During her attendance at last month's World Food Summit in Rome, Minister Oda met with the WFP's Executive Director, Josette Sheeran, who thanked Canada for being one of the WFP's strongest and most committed partners, and for such initiatives as the 100-percent untying of the food aid in 2008; providing naval escorts for food shipments to Somalia; airlifting WFP helicopters to help with relief efforts after Cyclone Nargis in Burma; supporting nutrition supplements for children in Senegal, Ghana, Sudan, and Pakistan; and for Canada's ongoing support to the school feeding program.

As part of her visit, Ms. Toyota, a Canadian, will also travel to Quebec City on Thursday, December 3rd to act as an Olympic torchbearer.


BACKGROUNDER

CANADA ANNOUNCES ADDITIONAL SUPPORT TO THE WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME

Several World Food Programme (WFP) operations, including ones in Africa and South America, will benefit from Canada's $30-million contribution, which will help respond to the urgent needs of vulnerable populations.

Democratic Republic of the Congo - $6 million

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the WFP is meeting the emergency food aid needs of more than two million people by helping to improve food access for people forced to flee their homes due to internal strife, improve the health and nutritional status of mothers and children, improve primary school enrolment and attendance by providing school feeding programs for children, and strengthen the Congolese government's capacity to meet the emergency food aid needs of vulnerable populations.

Sudan - $5 million

In Sudan, the WFP is providing food aid to an estimated 5.9 million vulnerable people, including 3.8 million conflict-affected people in Darfur, more then 220,000 returnees and internally displaced persons in southern Sudan, as well as significant vulnerable populations in eastern Sudan and the transitional "three areas"-Abyei, Blue Nile, and South Kordofan. This operation is focused on providing support to populations in Sudan in need of general food rations. Other activities include therapeutic and supplementary feeding programs for those suffering from high malnutrition rates.

Zimbabwe - $4 million

Zimbabwe, once a producer of surplus food, has since 2001 faced recurring food shortages as a result of erratic weather and a series of economic crises. Canadian support will increase the ability of approximately four million Zimbabweans to meet their food needs while promoting health, education, and livelihood initiatives.

Chad - $3 million

The WFP is working to meet the needs of internally displaced persons as well as the basic needs of the Sudanese population in Chad. The WFP will undertake food-for-work, food-for-training, and school feeding activities for internally displaced persons, as well as general food distribution, supplementary feeding and support to therapeutic feeding, and help an estimated 787,000 Sudanese residing in Chad.

Central African Republic - $1 million

The WFP will give priority attention to an estimated 367,000 people in food-insecure communities in conflict zones in this country. The WFP's goal is to save lives and assist conflict-affected persons and other vulnerable groups to improve their food security, human capital, and resilience to future shocks.

Colombia - $1.5 million

The WFP is working to reach an estimated 530,000 vulnerable people. Through this operation, the WFP aims to protect and help restore the livelihoods of displaced and other violence-affected populations; support the improvement of the nutritional status of targeted populations, especially pregnant and lactating women and children under the age of 5; and support access to education for displaced and at-risk populations.

Yemen - $500,000

Support to the WFP's operations in Yemen will help meet the food assistance needs of Yemenis displaced as a result of conflict in the Sa'ada Governorate. The conflict, which escalated in 2007 before a tentative ceasefire was declared, erupted once again in August 2009, further intensifying the needs of those displaced by the conflict. Through this operation, the WFP is meeting the food assistance needs of 36,000 internally displaced persons affected by the original conflict, as well as thousands more affected by the recent fighting.

Ongoing Refugee Operations - $4 million

Refugees often live in difficult conditions for long periods of time, and rely completely on an uninterrupted supply of international food assistance. The WFP and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees have joined efforts to raise awareness on programming gaps affecting refugees and to address acute malnutrition in humanitarian situations. Canada's contribution for refugee operations will provide the WFP with the flexibility to address immediate critical food insecurity situations based on assessed needs. The WFP has acknowledged and thanked Canada for its ongoing support to refugee operations.

World Food Programme's Immediate Response Capability - $5 million

The WFP's Immediate Response Account allows for the purchase and transportation of food in order to meet the most pressing needs, usually immediately following a natural disaster or the onset of an unexpected humanitarian crisis. For example, $500,000 from the account was recently used by the WFP to launch an immediate emergency operation to meet the most urgent needs of an estimated 180,000 vulnerable people affected by tropical storm Ketsana in the Philippines.


BACKGROUNDER

CANADA AND THE WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME

The Organization

Established in 1963, the World Food Programme (WFP) is the food aid arm of the United Nations.

The objectives of the WFP are to:

- save lives and protect livelihoods in emergencies (such as conflicts and natural disasters);

- prevent acute hunger and invest in measures to help countries prepare for disasters and to reduce their negative impacts;

- restore and rebuild lives and livelihoods in post-conflict and post-disaster situations;

- reduce chronic hunger and undernutrition; and

- strengthen the ability of countries to reduce hunger to ensure that results achieved are sustained once WFP programming ends.

In 2008 the WFP provided 3.9 million tonnes of food to more than 102 million beneficiaries in 78 countries. In 2009 the WFP expects to meet the needs of an estimated 93 million beneficiaries.

Canada's Relationship with the WFP

The WFP is CIDA's largest humanitarian partner. The WFP has the demonstrated knowledge and capacity to procure, deliver, distribute, and store commodities in order to help meet the needs of vulnerable people and to do so in an effective and timely manner.

In calendar year 2008, Canada provided more than $275 million to the WFP to help respond to the food needs of vulnerable populations in countries such as Haiti, Afghanistan, Somalia, and Ethiopia. So far in calendar 2009, Canada has provided $185 million to the WFP, including $30 million for the WFP's response to the drought in the Horn of Africa, $25 million for school feeding activities in Africa, and $11 million to WFP operations in Pakistan. In 2008, Canada was ranked the fourth largest contributor to the WFP or the third largest single country donor. We will continue to be a top donor in 2009 and 2010.

During her attendance at last month's World Food Summit in Rome, Minister Oda met with the WFP's Executive Director, Josette Sheeran, who thanked Canada for being one of the WFP's strongest and most committed partners, and for its initiatives such as providing naval escorts for food shipments to Somalia; airlifting WFP helicopters to help with relief efforts after Cyclone Nargis in Burma; supporting nutritional supplements for children in Senegal, Ghana, Sudan, and Pakistan; and its ongoing support to the school feeding program.

In October 2009, Minister Oda announced $30 million would be provided to the WFP for its newly created Purchase for Progress program (P4P). P4P is an innovative program that uses the WFP's procurement activities to create and enhance markets for food commodities grown locally by low-income or smallholder farmers, thereby helping to address longer-term food insecurity. Canada's contribution will be provided to WFP pilot projects in Ghana and Afghanistan.

In April 2008, Canada opened 100 percent of its food aid budget to international procurement, with a special emphasis on purchasing in developing countries. Untying provides our food aid partners, such as the WFP, with greater flexibility to provide culturally appropriate food to vulnerable populations, and to do so in a timely manner.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of International Cooperation
    Jessica Fletcher
    Press Secretary
    819-953-6238
    or
    Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
    Media Relations Office
    819-953-6534
    media@acdi-cida.gc.ca