The Canadian Foodgrains Bank is a Christian response to hunger.
The Federal Government recently announced $14 million dollars for the Canadian Foodgrains Bank to help respond to the deepening food crisis around the Horn of Africa.
Musu Taylor Lewis, the CFB Director of Resources and Public Engagement says the money that's coming in from the federal government is a key response to the hunger crisis that is going on around the world right now.
"The crisis is really quite critical. Right now, 50 million people in 45 countries are on the edge of famine. On the edge of famine means that people are selling assets to buy food. People are going without meals, skipping meals or going without food for days. This $14 million will allow the Canadian food grains bank and our members to respond to almost 120,000 people across Ethiopia, South Sudan, Kenya and Somalia. We will be working in those four countries with 11 locally based partners, locally based organizations who know the situation on the ground, who work in communities on an ongoing basis, in order to deliver food assistance, and some long term solutions."
Foodgrains Bank’s Executive Director Andy Harrington says we are likely weeks away from an official famine being declared in Somalia, so this additional support comes at a crucial time.
"The response from the global community right now should be focused on life saving interventions, so we are grateful that the Government of Canada is sensitive to this urgent need."
People in these areas are facing the threat of starvation following four consecutive failed rainy seasons in parts of Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia, a climatic event not seen in at least 40 years.
She notes in those four countries that we're talking about over 20 million people are experiencing crisis levels of hunger.
"Where people are skipping food, people are getting more and more malnourished. Children are the ones who are most impacted in those situations, and it's estimated in a country like Somalia, that half of the children are currently malnourished. Our partners on the ground are seeing exponentially more patients at clinics, addressing malnutrition, as they did in even in the last famine, for example."
As a result of the funding the government funding they will be delivering food assistance in some communities like bags of appropriate food like maize, oil, sugar, etc.
In other communities assistance may be in the form of cash transfers so people can buy food at the local market, something like food vouchers.
She says they will be specifically providing emergency food and nutrition services.
"So for some of those children, it's going to be therapeutic foods like cookies that are enhanced, or different forms of therapeutic foods will be provided to children who are severely malnourished. Those are the kinds of practical things that we'll be doing with the funding."
For more on this story you can listen to Glenda-Lee's conversation with Musu Taylor Lewis below.