November 08, 2007 21:37 ET

Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA): Canada Provides Food for School-Age Children in Nicaragua

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 8, 2007) - Today in Nicaragua, on behalf of the Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation, the Honourable Helena Guergis, Secretary of State (Foreign Affairs and International Trade) (Sport) announced that the Government Canada will provide $4 million to the World Food Programme's school-feeding program in Nicaragua for one year.

"This money will go to some of the poorest areas of Nicaragua and feed over 175,000 school children," said Minister Oda. "Today's announcement is part of Canada's ongoing response to the after-effects of Hurricane Felix and the recent flooding in Nicaragua, which have both destroyed crops and reduced food security."

Secretary of State Guergis, who is currently visiting Nicaragua as part of Canada's re-engagement of the Americas, today told Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega Saavedra of Canada's $4 million announcement. "Canada's announcement shows our desire to work closely with the Government of Nicaragua to help eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, and ensure access to primary education," she said. "By helping to reduce poverty and hunger, our governments can work together to strengthen and promote democracy, freedom, human rights and rule of law."

Canada is working with Nicaragua's Ministry of Education and other partners to increase access to education by enhancing pre-school, primary and early secondary education systems in Nicaragua.

While Nicaragua's primary enrolment rates are the lowest in Central America and only 40 per cent of children complete primary school successfully in six years, Canada's contributions will ensure that children receive at least one nutritious meal per day. "Hungry children cannot learn and our announcement will help to improve concentration and learning abilities to help children stay in school," said Secretary of State Guergis.

For more information on Canada's programming in the Americas, please refer to CIDA's website at

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of International Cooperation
    Jean-Luc Benoit
    Director of Communications
    Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
    Media Relations Office
    Office of the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
    and International Trade and Secretary of State for Sport
    Jeffrey Kroeker
    Director of Communications
    Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
    Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office