It is with gratitude and excitement that we welcome Prime Minister Trudeau’s support for the important role of international development in the recent Throne Speech and the subsequent announcement of $400 million to enable developing countries to cope with the effects of COVID-19.
“Our supporters, along with many other Canadians, have encouraged the government to increase support for achieving Canada’s international development goals, ” says Paul Hagerman, who directs public policy at Canadian Foodgrains Bank. “This announcement responds to that call.”
Over the past year, Foodgrains Bank supporters and others have met with and written letters and epostcards to their MPs asking for an increase in Canada’s aid to developing countries. Canadians across the country have expressed in various ways why it is important to them that their government reach out to people around the world through a generous response to hunger and poverty.
According to the Government of Canada release, “This new funding will go to trusted partners on the ground fighting COVID‑19, and will enable Canada to support the recovery and resilience of developing countries.”
For Hagerman, this support of recovery and resilience is key. “We know hunger around the world is rising due to the pandemic. Food systems have been disrupted, the cost of food is rising, income opportunities have been limited, and movement has been restricted. All of this is making it harder for people living in poverty to get enough to eat.”
“The Foodgrains Bank is already working to improve the resilience of small-scale farmers, many of whom saw their livelihoods disrupted by the pandemic,” says Hagerman.
The government’s release also notes that the newly announced funding will “address short-term humanitarian and development needs caused by the pandemic and other crises. The ultimate objective is to ensure that the development gains made over the past decade are not lost.”
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