ROME, ITALY -- (Marketwired) -- 05/24/13 -- Canada's leadership on food security and nutrition is contributing to the reduction of poverty, hunger, and malnutrition in developing countries. The Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of International Cooperation, participated today in a round table in Rome to discuss global food security and nutrition, and the role of private sector partnerships.
"Ensuring access to safe and nutritious food is a priority of Canada's international assistance to developing countries," said Minister Fantino. "Canada urges international partners to seize opportunities and engage the private sector in improving food security for developing countries."
During the round table, attended by the heads of the World Food Programme (WFP), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and Food and Agriculture Organization, Minister Fantino highlighted Canada's commitment to reducing poverty and promoting sustainable development in developing countries including through increasing the role of the private sector in agriculture, nutrition, and food security.
Following the round table, Minister Fantino announced further support to the WFP to help it meet the immediate food-assistance and nutrition needs of vulnerable people in a range of situations involving humanitarian crises and food insecurity around the world. This includes countries such as Somalia, Niger, and Yemen. This support is in response to the WFP's 2013 humanitarian appeal.
In addition, Minister Fantino announced support to WFP's Humanitarian Logistics Base in Djibouti. This logistics hub will improve the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of food assistance provided by the WFP in the Horn of Africa.
"Canada is the WFP's second-largest donor and one of our most important allies in the fight against hunger," said Ertharin Cousin, Executive Director of the WFP. "Canada's leadership in food security and nutrition helps ensure the WFP's ability to rapidly respond to emergency and crisis situations, maintain food in our program pipelines, innovatively address the challenges of chronic malnutrition, as well as accurately plan and manage resources better, facilitating our ability to maximize the cost-efficiency of our operations."
Minister Fantino also reaffirmed Canada's long-term support to the IFAD, whose mission is to empower people to grow more food, better manage their land and other natural resources, learn new skills, start small businesses, build strong organizations, and gain a voice in decisions that affect their lives. This support will increase rural people's access to agricultural technologies, financial services, markets, and land through country-specific solutions.
As well, Canada is contributing to the IFAD's Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Program. This program helps smallholder farmers reduce their crop-yield losses, gain increased access to water supplies, use water resources more efficiently, and build individual and community-level capacity to adapt to weather challenges.
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