Minister of International Development Harjit Sajjan.

$75 million promised to take bite out of hunger

  • December 9, 2021

It’s a hungry world and COVID has only sharpened those hunger pangs.

By next year COVID-19 could add 2.6 million more stunted children, 9.8 million more underweight children, 168,000 dead children and 2.1 million more anemic mothers around the globe. Last year UNICEF calculated COVID had cut basic nutrition services by 30 per cent.

Development and Peace and its major ally in Canada, the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, are getting the chance to do something about COVID-driven hunger with $75 million in government funding to Foodgrains over three years.

Taking a bite out of hunger starts one project at a time. Canada’s Caritas agency, Development and Peace, will be able to use that Foodgrains funding to help treat and prevent acute malnutrition in Gedo, Somalia — near the borders with Ethiopia and Kenya.

“The new funds will help our partner in Somalia treat and prevent acute malnutrition in children under five, and pregnant and lactating women,” said Development and Peace humanitarian program officer Dominique Godbout in an e-mail. “That has been exacerbated by the pandemic.”

The $75 million Global Affairs International Development has sent to Foodgrains— announced Dec. 6 by Minister of International Development Harjit Sajjan — is part of $520 million Ottawa pledged at the launch of the United Nations’ Nutrition for Growth Year of Action a year ago.

Foodgrains is a partnership of 15 different churches and church-affiliated agencies dedicated to fighting hunger around the world. The Catholic involvement in Foodgrains is led by the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace – Caritas Canada.

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