Canada joins international group to help countries in crisis meet food needs

SASKATOON – Canada is one of six countries to sign the new Food Assistance Convention, an international treaty in which each country promises to provide at least $250 million a year to help developing countries.

Julian Fantino, minister of International Cooperation, made the announcement Tuesday while speaking at Saskatoon’s Global Food Security Forum.

He won’t say exactly how much Canada will be pledging but says it’s important to make sure certain countries have food during a crisis.

The program will allow people to use vouchers to buy food in local markets and use seeds and tools “to help restart livelihoods following emergencies.”

Japan, Denmark, the European Union, Switzerland and the United States will join Canada in meeting for the first time this month for the Food Assistance Convention.

Fantino encouraged those attending the forum to look overseas for new partnerships that would help the world’s less fortunate while benefiting their own country.

“Seven billion people is a lot of mouths to feed, and by 2050 it will be nine billion,” he said.

“So when we ask the question ‘how do we feed a hungry world’ I believe that we can do it through a collaborative approach between governmental, development partners and the private sector.”