11 October 2012
The Government of Canada is committed to combating hunger and malnutrition and creating the basis for health and prosperity in developing countries. To this end, on October 11, 2012, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced $20 million over three years (2012-2015) to the Integrated Support to Food Security and Nutrition project in Senegal. This project builds on a previous commitment, the Support To Food Security and Nutrition Project in Senegal, made in 2010 which provided $5 million over two years to reduce undernourishment and chronic hunger.
Food and nutrition crises in Senegal have grown in frequency and severity in recent years, mostly driven by sporadic rainfall, insufficient local harvests, and high food prices. As a result, people's resilience has been eroded, undermining their ability to respond to what is becoming a recurrent challenge. In Senegal, over 800,000 people, or six percent of the population, are at risk of suffering from food shortages, including 120,000 children under five who are at risk of suffering or currently suffering from malnutrition.
Through the Canadian International Development Agency, Canada's support for this project will tap into and integrate the strengths of three key agencies: the World Food Programme (WFP), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). Each agency will bring its specific expertise in the areas of agricultural production, nutrition and food distribution, resulting in a more comprehensive and effective response to this complex situation.
The Integrated Support to Food Security and Nutrition project complements the Government of Canada's recent life-saving humanitarian assistance to the Sahel region by addressing chronic food insecurity in Senegal. This project will improve nutrition and food security in the most vulnerable areas of Senegal, especially for women and children. It will increase agricultural production in areas at risk of food insecurity; provide access to basic food commodities by the local populations in vulnerable areas; provide increased access to chronic malnutrition prevention and therapeutic services in vulnerable areas; increase access to quality seeds; and enhance current agricultural practices. The project will help Senegal deal with the current food and nutrition crisis, while helping them to build the resilience to face future crises.
In April 2011, Canada was the first country to fully meet its G-8 L'Aquila commitment and disburse $1.18 billion for sustainable agricultural development. Canada chaired the adoption of a new Food Assistance Convention which brought together the leading food aid donors to commit to global response to hunger. Building on this Canadian leadership, at the G-8 Camp David Summit in May 2012, the Prime Minister announced $219 million, over three years, as part of the G-8 New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition.
As a thematic priority for our international assistance, Canada continues to support several other initiatives to improve food security. At the June 2012 G-20 Summit in Los Cabos, Prime Minister Harper announced Canadian support for AgResults – an innovative initiative which aims to improve food security in developing countries in close cooperation with the private sector.