D&P partners with Canada Foodgrains Bank

By 
  • May 22, 2008

{mosimage}TORONTO - The first Catholic project by the Canada Foodgrains Bank will direct $500,000 to Zambian farmers who lost their crops to flooding in December and January.

The money will provide emergency food aid to rural families, plus seeds, fertilizer and tools to help farmers quickly get another crop in the ground. About 24,000 Zambians should benefit from the project to be run by Caritas Zambia.

It’s the first time the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace has provided funding for a Canada Foodgrains Bank effort, and the first time the CFB has worked with the international Caritas network.

“It’s the next phase in the new relationship,” noted Canada Foodgrains Bank executive director Jim Cornelius.

Development and Peace joined CFB last year. There are 15 churches which contribute to Canada Foodgrains Bank, which takes contributions of both cash and grain and uses these to help farmers around the world.

Getting farmers back in their fields quickly after a natural disaster is key to ensuring one lost crop doesn’t plunge farmers so far into debt they never get out, said Cornelius.

“If there isn’t support provided to restore livelihoods, then recovery from a flood can be years,” Cornelius said.

“People end up deeply in debt and sometimes never do recover. Shocks of this type can be deeply impoverishing.”

The $500,000 total includes $90,000 donated by individuals to Development and Peace’s account with the Canada Foodgrains Bank, a matching $90,000 from the Foodgrains Bank general funds, and $320,000 in Canadian International Development Agency funding to Development and Peace specifically for the Zambia project.

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