October 24th, 2020

SACPA session to discuss World Food Programme


By Jensen, Randy on October 14, 2020.

LETHBRIDGE HERALD

Thursday’s Southern Alberta Council on Public Affairs online session will focus on World Food Day and addressing global hunger in a time of COVID.

Friday is World Food Day and this year’s theme of the Food & Agriculture Organization is: Grow, Nourish, Sustain Together. However, this is no ordinary World Food Day as hunger is on the rise due to conflict, climate change and now COVID-19. The battle against COVID-19 is shifting across the globe, making the poorest poorer and the hungriest hungrier. It is multiplying misery by preying on the weak and vulnerable, pushing millions out of work and into hunger, disrupting vital supply chains and threatening the very fabric of society, SACPA noted in its release.

World Food Programme (WFP) interventions can have a positive influence on food systems including: homegrown school meals, which connect local smallholder farmers to the supply chain of school meal programs; fortification initiatives that help communities access locally produced nutritious food; the creation and rehabilitation of infrastructure in exchange for food or cash-based assistance; strengthening public food reserves; and supporting smallholder farmers through the facilitation of credit, capacity development and access to markets. Many smallholder farmers are women, and in order to achieve food and nutrition security for all people, it is critical that effective, innovative and equitable food assistance is created to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment.

In 2019, Canada was WFP’s seventh-largest donor contributing nearly US $200 million to support WFP’s operations in emergencies. WFP is consistently the single largest recipient of Canadian international humanitarian assistance, which the WFP receives through Global Affairs Canada.

Thursday’s guest speaker will be Julie Marshall, who has worked as the Canadian spokesperson and communications officer for the United Nations World Food Programme, which won the Nobel Peace Price last week, for over 14 years. She is based in Canada but has seen WFP operations first-hand in a number of countries, including Pakistan, Ethiopia, Bolivia, Sri Lanka, Honduras and Haiti. This experience has given her the opportunity to see how the WFP delivers food assistance in emergencies and how working with communities improves nutrition and builds resilience in the countries the WFP serves.

Thursday’s session will begin at 10 a.m. on YouTube Live link https://youtu.be/xRMna14IW_A. In order to ask questions of the speaker in the chat feature of YouTube, you must have a YouTube account and be signed in.

For further information, visit the SACPA website http://www.sacpa.ca.

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