November 04, 2005 16:22 ET

CIDA: Canada Addresses Humanitarian and Food Crisis in Southern Africa

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 4, 2005) - The Honourable Aileen Carroll, Minister of International Cooperation, today announced that Canada, through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), will provide more than $25 million to help alleviate the ongoing humanitarian and food crisis in southern Africa, including Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Through this funding, Canada will contribute to feeding over nine million people in the region and support agricultural initiatives that will sustain rural economic recovery.

"As a result of southern Africa's food crisis, the people of this region are struggling to feed themselves," said Minister Carroll. "Canadians are deeply concerned about this situation and are committed to helping provide emergency food aid and agricultural support to those in need of assistance. And, having untied further Canada's food aid, we are committed to increasing the flexibility and timeliness of our response to this emergency."

The funding announced today will be allocated as follows:

- $13 million to the World Food Programme (WFP) for emergency food
aid. The WFP plans to help feed some nine million people.

- $8 million over seven years to Care Canada for a Sustainable and
Effective Economic Development Project (SEED) in Mozambique. The
project will help reduce poverty and sustain rural economic
recovery in 8,000 households, assisting some 53,600 people. It will
empower women and men to successfully carry out diverse livelihood

- $1 million to the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red
Crescent Societies to support 1.5 million people in Lesotho,
Mozambique, Malawi, Namibia, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe for
water and sanitation projects and agricultural rehabilitation.

- $1 million to UNICEF in support of emergency activities in Malawi.
Activities will focus on treating severe and moderate malnutrition,
and preventing and controlling of outbreaks of water-borne

Additionally, the Canadian Foodgrains Bank (CFGB) is currently planning $3.2 million in food aid programs for southern Africa. CIDA funding would be responsible for 80% or $2.56 million of this amount.

Half of the food will be eligible for purchase in southern Africa, in accordance with Canada's new Food Aid Procurement Policy. On September 22, the Government of Canada announced that, in order to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of its assistance to hungry people worldwide, it would change its food aid policy. Up to 50 percent of Canada's food aid is now able to be purchased in developing countries.

"CIDA's contributions strive to help lessen the extent of food insecurity, hunger, malnutrition and disease in the region," said Minister Carroll. "CIDA's role in these countries also involves supporting long-term initiatives such as agricultural development. These initatives help to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger by promoting gender equality and empowering women and by ensuring environmental sustainability."

Funding for this initiative was provided for in the February 2005 Federal Budget and is therefore built into the existing fiscal framework.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of International Cooperation
    Andrew Graham
    Director of communications
    (819) 953-6238
    Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
    Media Relations Office
    (819) 953-6534 (electronic version of document)