New Canadian Foodgrains Bank program enhances climate change adaptation in Africa
$36 million from the Government of Canada’s ‘Partnering for Climate’ initiative has been granted to Canadian Foodgrains Bank to restore healthy landscapes and food systems in four African countries.
Nearly 40% of small-scale farmers in sub-Saharan Africa experience hunger regularly, compared to only 20% of the overall population, and climate change is making their fight against hunger even more challenging. The new Nature+ (Nature Positive Food Systems for Climate Change Adaptation in East Africa) program will directly work with 75,000 women and men living in rural areas of Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
The multi-year program is focused on restoring healthy landscapes in regions that are dealing with high vulnerability to the impacts of climate change, high levels of land degradation and high levels of hunger and poverty, resulting in positive ripple effects throughout surrounding communities and landscapes.
“The devastating effects of climate change include severely increasing hunger for families living in areas that have seen their ecosystems decimated, but with concentrated, protected work, we know these landscapes and their biodiversity can be healed to restore food security for the people living in them,” says executive director Andy Harrington.
“We are so grateful the Canadian government is partnering with us to do this important work.”
Nature+ involves 12 locally-based partners in these four countries, with support from nine Foodgrains Bank member agencies.
Each locally-based partner is situated to best design a program that will cater to the local area’s landscape, while also helping communities reduce their vulnerability to climate change and improve their livelihoods.
Unpredictable rainfall, floods and historic levels of drought are contributing to high levels of poverty and hunger, particularly for women and girls who generally experience higher levels of poverty.
In the past, healthy soils and rich biodiversity would have helped communities adapt to the changing climate, but issues such as soil infertility and overgrazing have made farming much more difficult for agricultural purposes in the areas that Nature+ will focus on.
“As an organization committed to ending global hunger, this effort is undertaken with the knowledge that when landscapes are restored, the people living in these areas are better able to build a food-secure future that will benefit not only themselves, but generations to come,” says Harrington.
As part of this program grant, the Foodgrains Bank is expected to raise approximately $1.67 million. To donate, visit nature-plus.ca.