This is no ordinary World Food Day. Addressing Global Hunger in a time of COVID.

October 15, 2020 :: Julie Marshall
Moderated by SACPA administrator

October 16 is World Food Day. This year’s theme of the Food & Agriculture Organization is: Grow, Nourish, Sustain Together. But this is no ordinary World Food Day, hunger is on the rise due to conflict, climate change & 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 & vulnerable, pushing millions out of work & into hunger, disrupting vital supply chains & threatening the very fabric of society.

COVID-19 is having a devastating effect on smallholder farmers. Despite producing most of the world’s food, they tend to be food insecure themselves forming the majority of people living in poverty globally. Helping raise their incomes and improve their livelihoods holds the key to building sustainable food systems, advancing food security and achieving Zero Hunger. The World Food Programme (WFP) interventions can have a positive influence on food systems including: Home Grown School Meals, which connect local smallholder farmers to the supply chain of school meal programmes; 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; & supporting smallholder farmers through the facilitation of credit, capacity development & access to markets. Many smallholder farmers are women & in order to achieve food & nutrition security for all people, it is critical that effective, innovative & equitable food assistance is created to advance gender equality & women’s empowerment.

In 2019, Canada was WFP's seventh largest donor contributing nearly 200 million USD 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.

Speaker: Julie Marshall

Julie Marshall has worked as the Canadian spokesperson and communications officer for the United Nations World Food Programme for over 14 years. She is based here 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.

Date and time: Thursday, October 15, 2020 at 10am MST

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