Canada aims to increase foreign aid for food security – minister

AMMAN (Reuters) – A global food crisis exacerbated by the Ukraine war prompted Canada to commit more than $6 billion a year in foreign aid to help the hardest-hit countries in Africa and the Middle East. Canada’s aid minister said it has spurred the increase. Thursday.

Harjit Sajan, Canada’s Minister for International Development, said: “The Ukrainian crisis is causing shockwaves in terms of supply chains, especially food security, affecting the most vulnerable people during the most difficult times.

“We are making adjustments to reflect this…People are starving because food prices have gone up,” Sajjan said in an interview with Reuters.

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He did not disclose the amount of new aid, but the Ottwa-based Canadian International Development Platform said foreign aid increased 27% last year to about $6.6 billion.

The UN says the global food crisis caused by conflict, climate shocks and the COVID-19 pandemic is growing as the spillover effects of the war in Ukraine cause higher food, fuel and fertilizer prices. said.

More than 50 million people in East Africa will face severe food insecurity this year, according to new research supported by the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

Sajjan said Canada is increasing its aid to WFP, with WFP’s annual need reaching a record $22.2 billion, without compromising other development programs.

“We have stepped up our support to the Middle East region on food,” he said, citing Lebanon, which relies heavily on Ukrainian wheat and faces bread shortages, as an example.

He said a deal brokered by the United Nations and Turkey with Russia and Ukraine last month to unblock grain exports from Black Sea ports was a positive step, but the meager shipments so far have eased the crisis. said it was not enough to

Canada has also increased aid to Egypt, typically the world’s largest importer of wheat, as well as to conflict-torn Afghanistan, Yemen and Syria.

Canada is also looking at ways to improve the resilience of African countries, with a particular focus on the continent’s lack of food storage.

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Reported by Suleiman Al-Khalidi Edited by Frances Kerry

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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