Canada announces emergency support to respond to global food crises

News release

August 13, 2021 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

The COVID-19 pandemic has increased food insecurity around the world by disrupting food production, supply and distribution. Acute hunger is increasing not only in scale but also in severity, with over 41 million people worldwide at risk of falling into famine or famine-like conditions. Immediate action is required to respond to this unprecedented emergency in global hunger and malnutrition.

Today, the Honourable Karina Gould, Minister of International Development, announced a total of $155 million for emergency humanitarian and development assistance to help avert famine in crisis-affected countries by addressing deteriorating food security and nutrition needs.

Canada will distribute this funding through focused investments allowing select partners to respond to critical food and nutrition needs around the world. These organizations include the World Food Programme, UNICEF, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs’ Country-Based Pooled Funds, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Canadian Foodgrains Bank. These organizations’ programming will provide global food and nutrition assistance, including for people most affected by acute and chronic malnutrition exacerbated by COVID-19, and will lay the groundwork for immediate relief.

This support will also be provided through other Canadian partners to address acute malnutrition and underlying vulnerabilities related to health, water, sanitation and hygiene in famine-affected countries.


“As the COVID-19 pandemic threatens decades’ worth of hard-won development gains, Canada’s immediate, coordinated response is vital to provide emergency access to food around the world. We must work globally and act now to support countries on the verge of famine.”

- Karina Gould, Minister of International Development

Quick facts

  • In 2020, the world experienced the single largest increase in global hunger ever recorded, with as many as 160 million additional people falling deeper into hunger, a trend that has only continued into 2021.

  • By 2022, COVID-19 could result in an additional 2.6 million under-height children, 9.8 million under-weight children, 168,000 additional child deaths and 2.1 million maternal anemia cases.

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Guillaume Dumas
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of International Development

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
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