Canada announces support for global nutrition efforts

News release

December 7, 2021 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

The COVID-19 pandemic, climate-related disasters and conflict are driving hunger and malnutrition worldwide, putting the world’s poorest and most vulnerable—especially women and girls—at increased risk of death and disease. As one of the largest donors to the nutrition sector globally, Canada is committed to working with its partners to reclaim the nutrition gains lost during the COVID-19 pandemic while also continuing to focus on the gender dimensions of the nutrition crisis.

The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada, today announced a financial contribution of $195 million for 11 projects to be implemented by Canadian and international partners. A portion of this funding is part of the $520 million pledged by Canada at the launch of the Nutrition for Growth Year of Action a year ago.

Minister Sajjan made the announcement during his participation in the Tokyo Nutrition for Growth Summit 2021, where he also committed to use Canada’s investments to integrate the delivery of nutrition with other essential services. In line with this commitment, today’s announcement includes an additional $50 million for the Global Financing Facility (GFF) COVID-19 Essential Health Services to restore and sustain primary health care, including nutrition services, for the most vulnerable.

At the summit, Canada also called on other donors to come forward with commitments that will help deliver long-term nutrition and health to the world’s poorest and most marginalized people, especially women and girls.

Nutrition programming supported by Canada addresses the immediate causes of malnutrition, which include unhealthy food and nutrient intake and disease, as well as the underlying causes of malnutrition, such as food insecurity, inadequate health services, safe water and sanitation. 


“We are committed to improving nutrition for the world’s poorest and most marginalized—especially women and girls—by ensuring better access to nutritious food and services. The strategic importance of focusing on women and girls cannot be underestimated. In many countries, women plant the food, work the fields, harvest the crops, and cook the meals. Yet, far too often, they are the ones who eat last and eat the least. Canada is committed to leading efforts to improve nutrition around the world, and we call on other donors to also come forward with commitments that deliver long-term nutrition and health services to those who need them most.”

- Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada

Quick facts

  • In December 2020, Canada and Bangladesh co-hosted the Nutrition for Growth 2021 Year of Action kick-off event, which mobilized over $3 billion in global nutrition programming. During the event, Canada announced its N4G pledge of $520 million in nutrition-specific programming over five years.

  • In addition to nutrition-specific programming, Canada spends approximately 1 billion annually in nutrition-sensitive interventions designed to address the underlying determinants of malnutrition.

  • The GFF is the key global multi-stakeholder partnership to support country-led efforts to improve reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health and nutrition. On May 7, 2021, Canada announced a pledge of $100 million to the GFF’s Resource Mobilization campaign to help reclaim health gains for women, children and adolescents. Today’s pledge of a further $50 million in support of the GFF’s work to restore essential health services brings Canada’s commitment to the resource mobilization campaign to $150 million and total support for the GFF to $590 million. Canada co-founded the GFF in 2015, alongside the World Bank, Norway, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and United Nations and other partners.

  • Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, UNICEF estimated a 30% overall reduction in essential nutrition services coverage, reaching 75% to 100% during lockdowns. These numbers include fragile countries where there are humanitarian crises.

  • By 2022, COVID-19 could result in an additional

    • 2.6 million stunted (under-height) children
    • 9.8 million wasted (underweight) children,
    • 168,000 child-deaths, and
    • 2.1 million more maternal anemia cases.
  • Women and girls are at higher risk of being affected by malnutrition: 60% of the world’s hungry are women, according to the World Food Programme.

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Todd Lane
Office of the Minister of International Development

Media Relations Office
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