Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced support for a new initiative aimed at addressing the challenges of agricultural productivity in Africa. The initiative was announced by Barack Obama, President of the United States, at the Symposium on Global Agriculture and Food Security in Washington, D.C.
The New Alliance for Food and Nutrition Security will allow African partners, G-8 countries, other donors and the private sector to create new and innovative partnerships that will drive agricultural transformation, improve nutrition and unlock sustainable economic growth in Africa. These efforts will complement initiatives being undertaken by the African Union.
“As a continuation of our international leadership on food security and agriculture, we are pleased to support the New Alliance for Food and Nutrition Security,” said Prime Minister Harper. “The New Alliance is a partnership based on mutual accountability, aimed at unlocking the enormous potential of Africa’s agricultural sector and improving nutrition outcomes.”
Canada’s contribution to the New Alliance, which will be funded through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)’s bilateral and multilateral programs, builds upon its solid track record of global leadership in food security. At the G-8 Summit in L’Aquila in 2009, Canada announced new funding of $600 million for sustainable agricultural development, elevating its total support to $1.18 billion. In April 2011, Canada became the first G-8 country to fully meet its L’Aquila commitment.
Canada’s support for the initiative will complement our multilateral and bilateral efforts to enhance food security and agricultural development in Africa. More specifically, Canadian support will contribute to: assisting farmers throughout Africa to improve their yields and sell their crops, implementing food security initiatives in Ghana and Ethiopia, and developing a new Canadian-led initiative to support innovative nutrition research and technologies. Our contribution will also help build farmers’ resilience to unexpected events like droughts or conflict, while promoting long-term growth and productivity.
In 2009, the Government of Canada launched its Food Security Strategy, a comprehensive approach to address immediate food needs in developing countries and find solutions for lasting food security through three paths: sustainable agricultural development, food assistance, and nutrition and agricultural research.