In order to assist CLWR in meeting the needs of displaced and food insecure people, we are asking you to send a personal email to Global Affairs Canada outlining your support for the recommendations that CLWR has made. Submissions can be emailed to IAReview.ExamenAI@international.gc.ca. A suggested email template is provided below.
Thank you for your ongoing support of the work of CLWR.
Please copy and paste the note below into your e-mail program, add your name/signature at the bottom, and send it to IAReview.ExamenAI[at]international.gc.ca. As time permits, you are encouraged to modify this email with your own comments. If you don’t mind, let us know you’ve sent a letter by including maryanne[at]clwr.mb.ca in the BCC line. All letters/emails need to be sent in by July 31, 2016.
The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development:
Thank you for providing the opportunity to provide feedback regarding Canada’s international assistance policy. As someone who cares about providing increased support and assistance to the world’s most vulnerable people, I encourage the Government of Canada to focus its support on improving the well-being of and self-reliance among displaced and food-insecure populations in the developing world.
The number of people suffering from forced displacement continues to reach unprecedented levels, with an estimated 65.3 million displaced by the end of 2015. As 51 percent of those displaced are children, there is an urgent need to find effective strategies to meeting immediate needs while also assisting them to gain the skills and tools they will need to build a sustainable future.
In light of this challenge, I encourage the Government of Canada to:
• Respond to those emergencies—often protracted in nature—that are not in the news. As of 2015, it was estimated that some 6.7 million refugees (41 percent of refugees overall) had been displaced from their home community for over five years.
• Make humanitarian assistance funding available for multi-year projects to allow for continuity, increased efficiency, and decreased overhead.
• Broaden the range of International Humanitarian Assistance funding to include activities that will build long-term resilience among displaced populations. Activities could include vocational training, agricultural training, psychosocial support, legal support, and the provision of economic opportunities.
Increased public investment in sustainable agricultural development is the key to meeting the needs of food insecure populations while also addressing climate change concerns. Small-scale farmers make up over 70 percent of those who are poor and food insecure in the developing world; in Africa, many of these poor farmers are women. Thus, investment in the livelihoods of small-scale farmers can contribute to a triple win for food security, climate change adaption and, in some cases, greenhouse gas mitigation. For this reason, I urge Canada to invest more in agricultural aid and to restore agricultural funding to the 2008-2010 levels of $450 million.
In keeping with the Canadian government’s focus on promoting women’s economic and social empowerment, a strong commitment should be made to supporting female small-scale farmers through: 1) improving women’s access to necessary agricultural resources, 2) ensuring women’s consultation within farming decisions, and 3) supporting women’s collective action in agriculture (including producer organizations, co-operatives, or savings and credit groups).
To accomplish these and the many other important goals, I believe Canada should also increase its overall international assistance. With the increase in conflict and natural disasters, millions of people are at risk of hunger.
Responding to these needs will require more resources for humanitarian aid.
Thank you again for providing this opportunity to share my thoughts with you.