$2.6 Million Project Launched To Help Poor Farmers, Particularly Women, To Adapt To Climate Change

OTTAWA, March 5, 2013 /CNW/ - In the lead-up to International Women's Day, the Canadian Hunger Foundation (CHF) announced a $2.6 million project today to support women and other vulnerable farmers in northern Ghana to adapt to increasingly erratic rainfall and rising temperatures in the region. The Expanding Climate Change Resilience in Northern Ghana Project (ECCRING) will build on earlier successes in the region by expanding into 18 new rural communities to increase harvests and augment incomes.  The project is funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and CHF and implemented in partnership with the local Association of Church-Based Development NGOs (ACDEP).

"Rising temperatures, less predictable rainfall and shorter growing seasons are all making it harder for farmers— especially women —to support their families in northern Ghana," said Garry Comber, President and CEO of the Canadian Hunger Foundation. "Women are disproportionally affected by the challenges of a changing climate. This means a core part of our work must be to strengthen their efforts with tools, seeds, livestock, new farming techniques and other inputs, but also to develop their capacity to claim their role in shaping their communities."

The project will raise awareness of the negative impacts of climate change and how they can be reduced, and will improve the capacity of regional organizations, districts, communities and beneficiaries to address climate change and manage natural disasters. New farming techniques and technologies will also be introduced to increase the use of drought-tolerant crops and improve livestock production methods. Protecting and enhancing natural resources will also be a focus, including growing more trees and controlling bushfires.

"CIDA is proud to partner with the Canadian Hunger Foundation to help increase the adoption of climate-resilient livelihood strategies and technologies by farmers in Northern Ghana," said the Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of International Cooperation. "This will help improve access to sufficient, nutritious and safe food and lead to more sustainable livelihoods."

Although both women and men will participate in the project, some activities, such as provision of small livestock, fuel-efficient stoves and other income-generating activities, will specifically target women more than men, increasing their control over resources, or reducing their time constraints. Women's increased participation and leadership in community organizations will also be promoted in order to give them a greater voice in decisions that affect them and their families.

10,000 vulnerable rural women and men will receive direct support, and the project is expected to benefit approximately 50,000 people in total. Household food security and income are both expected to increase by 35% over the 15 months of the project.

For 51 years, CHF has empowered the world's poorest families to increase their incomes and to sustainably produce food that better meets their nutritional needs. The non-profit organization has worked in over 50 countries in Asia, Africa and the Americas, and is currently implementing 12 projects in 16 countries that support over 450,000 people and their communities. 

SOURCE: CHF

For further information:

Michael Jones, (613) 407-0327
mjones@chf.ca

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