June 8, 2013
LONDON, United Kingdom — Improving nutrition and ensuring access to nutritious food are key to Canada's strategy to help lift millions of people out of poverty around the world. Today, the Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of International Cooperation, reaffirmed Canada's global leadership in nutrition and food security by announcing nine new initiatives that will strengthen the capacity of countries to address undernutrition, particularly among mothers and children.
"Our Government considers nutrition to be a critical building block for any development progress we hope to achieve," said Minister Fantino. "Investments in nutrition and food security are the gateway to healthier families, more stable communities, and economies that can flourish."
Minister Fantino made the announcement during a meeting of business, science, government, and civil society organizations to tackle the challenge of hunger and undernutrition. The meeting was held in London as part of the lead-up to this month's G-8 Leaders Summit. The investments announced today will not only help to improve nutrition, they will promote innovation in agriculture, food security, and nutrition. For example, Canada is supporting the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in their work directly with smallholder farmers and the private sector to improve the production of nutritious food and promote agricultural innovations.
Kanayo F. Nwanze, President of IFAD, in welcoming Canada's initiatives stated that the country, a key IFAD partner, is a leader on nutrition improvement. The $5 million Nutrition-Sensitive Agriculture and Rural Development will help smallholder farmers to improve the production of nutritious food and promote innovations in nutrition-sensitive agriculture, particularly in Africa. "Nutrition is a smart development investment, and integral to eradicating poverty and hunger," said Nwanze. "IFAD invests in agricultural development with the aim to improve the nutritional level of the poorest populations. We work to enable poor people out of poverty through sustainable agriculture, focusing on smallholders. Women are key to improving the living conditions of their families, nutrition, maternal health, and combating disease—goals that are moral imperatives.
Canada also announced its support for efforts to improve the well-being and survival of children under the age of five in more than 20 African nations. The Scaling Up Nutrition initiatives will deliver cost-effective, lifesaving nutrition and health services to young children to ensure they have the best possible start to life.
"A recent report by Development Initiatives, an independent organization, recognized Canada as the world leader in the effort to improve nutrition," said Minister Fantino. "Canadians can be proud of our ongoing leadership in nutrition and food security. Improving nutrition is a key element of the Muskoka Initiative to improve maternal, newborn, and child health."
Economic Action Plan 2013 reaffirms Canada's commitment to nutrition and increasing food security. The new Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development will continue to implement the mandate of poverty alleviation by helping to ensure families have access to the nutrition they need to live healthy lives, contribute to their communities, and grow their economies.
— 30 —
For more information, media should contact:
Daniel Bezalel Richardsen
Press Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation
The nutrition and food security initiatives are:
Canada is contributing to the following initiatives as part of its commitment to provide $1.1 billion in new funding between 2011 and 2015 to the Muskoka Initiative, a global effort to mobilize action to reduce maternal and infant mortality and to improve the health of mothers and children in the world's poorest countries:
As part of Canada's commitment under the G-8 New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, Canada will support the following initiatives: