Increasing food security is one of Canada's three priority international development themes, as outlined in Canada's Aid Effectiveness Agenda. The Government of Canada is committed to making Canada's international assistance more effective, more focused, and more accountable. The priority themes are supported by three crosscutting themes.
About 870 million men, women and children around the world face chronic hunger. Lack of access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food is one of the major obstacles to reducing poverty in developing countries.
Canada has a strong record of helping increase global food security through its decision to untie 100 percent of its food assistance budget in 2008 and was one of the first donor countries to increase support during the 2008 food and fuel crises in the developing world. In April 2011, Canada was the first G8 country to fully meet its L'Aquila Summit commitment and disburse $1.18 billion for sustainable agricultural development. Canada chaired the negotiations leading to the new Food Assistance Convention which brought together the leading food assistance donors, and is continuing to play a key role through the Convention in shaping the global response to hunger.
The challenges to food security—including low productivity, high costs, and a lack of modern techniques and technology—are well known. Canada's Food Security Strategy responds to these challenges and focuses on food assistance and nutrition, sustainable agricultural development, and research and development.