G8 food security program can make or break PM Harper's child and maternal
health plan

The promised $20 billion must be targeted at small-scale farmers-mostly women, says World Vision

TORONTO, June 24 /CNW/ - Last year, the G8 pledged $20 billion through 2012 to fund hunger alleviation programs, yet no mechanism exists to track the disbursement of the funds. World Vision worries that if the money is not protected for programs that support rural men and women to sustainably strengthen their livelihoods, improve food and nutrition security, and build their capacity to adapt to climate change, the progress of this G8's signature child and maternal health initiative will be severely limited.

    
    FACTS

    -   There are over a billion undernourished people in the world today -
        climate change and the financial crisis threaten to drastically
        increase that number.
    -   More than 170 million children under the age of five are stunted or
        severely wasted -conditions that can permanently damage their
        physical and mental development.
    

Recent pledges of aid and promises to reduce hunger:

2005 G8: G8 governments commit to achieve Millennium Development Goal One-cut in half the percentage of people suffering from hunger by 2015

2009 G8: The L'Aquila Joint Statement on Global Food Security--$20 billion through 2012 to fund hunger alleviation programs.

2009, Canada makes Food Security a CIDA priority, commits to doubling support to agriculture to $1.2 B and releases its Food Security Strategy.

2009 G8: The World Bank commits to create a multilateral fund to improve global nutrition and build sustainable agricultural systems by ensuring country ownership and rapid disbursement of funds and to facilitate the participation of private foundations, businesses, and non-governmental organizations.

April 2010: The World Bank launched a multi-donor fund called the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program -$880 million pledged by Canada, South Korea, Spain, the United States and the Gates Foundation. This week, the program announced its first grants - $224 million to 5 countries ($50 million each to Rwanda, Bangladesh, and Sierra Leone; $39 million to Togo; and $35 million to Haiti).

May 2010: The United States' global hunger and food security initiative, called "Feed the Future," provides a framework for how the United States intends to work alongside development partners and governments to support a country-led approach to food security planning that reflect their needs, priorities and development strategies.

QUOTES

"Making sure parents can adequately feed their children must be the first priority for food security funding or the G8 will fall short on their promises to cut child and maternal deaths. "

- Dave Toycen, CEO World Vision Canada

"Not all poor families have malnourished children. Despite poverty and food scarcity, some parents find ways to raise healthy children. Identifying and funding their strategies shows us local solutions and inspires us to develop those further."- Sue Mbaya, Director of Advocacy, World Vision Africa

    
    LINKS

    -   World Vision public actions around the summit
        www.worldvision.ca/newsroom
    -   About World Vision's child health campaign www.childhealthnow.org
    

World Vision is a leading Christian relief, development and advocacy organization dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender.

SOURCE World Vision Canada

For further information: For further information: For interviews with World Vision experts, contact: Sharon Marshall, cell: 416-616-9147, Sharon_Marshall@WorldVision.ca; Tiffany Baggetta, cell: 416-305-9612, Tiffany_Baggetta@WorldVision.ca


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