December 7, 2021 – Ottawa, Ontario – Global Affairs Canada
The COVID-19 pandemic, climate-related disasters and conflict are driving hunger and malnutrition worldwide, putting the world’s poorest and most vulnerable—especially women and girls—at increased risk of death and disease. As one of the largest donors to the nutrition sector globally, Canada is committed to working with its partners to reclaim the nutrition gains lost during the COVID-19 pandemic while also continuing to focus on the gender dimensions of the nutrition crisis.
The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada, today announced a financial contribution of $195 million for 11 projects to be implemented by Canadian and international partners. A portion of this funding is part of the $520 million pledged by Canada at the launch of the Nutrition for Growth Year of Action a year ago.
Minister Sajjan made the announcement during his participation in the Tokyo Nutrition for Growth Summit 2021, where he also committed to use Canada’s investments to integrate the delivery of nutrition with other essential services. In line with this commitment, today’s announcement includes an additional $50 million for the Global Financing Facility (GFF) COVID-19 Essential Health Services to restore and sustain primary health care, including nutrition services, for the most vulnerable.
At the summit, Canada also called on other donors to come forward with commitments that will help deliver long-term nutrition and health to the world’s poorest and most marginalized people, especially women and girls.
Nutrition programming supported by Canada addresses the immediate causes of malnutrition, which include unhealthy food and nutrient intake and disease, as well as the underlying causes of malnutrition, such as food insecurity, inadequate health services, safe water and sanitation.
“We are committed to improving nutrition for the world’s poorest and most marginalized—especially women and girls—by ensuring better access to nutritious food and services. The strategic importance of focusing on women and girls cannot be underestimated. In many countries, women plant the food, work the fields, harvest the crops, and cook the meals. Yet, far too often, they are the ones who eat last and eat the least. Canada is committed to leading efforts to improve nutrition around the world, and we call on other donors to also come forward with commitments that deliver long-term nutrition and health services to those who need them most.”
Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada
In December 2020, Canada and Bangladesh co-hosted the Nutrition for Growth 2021 Year of Action kick-off event, which mobilized over $3 billion in global nutrition programming. During the event, Canada announced its N4G pledge of $520 million in nutrition-specific programming over five years.
In addition to nutrition-specific programming, Canada spends approximately 1 billion annually in nutrition-sensitive interventions designed to address the underlying determinants of malnutrition.
The GFF is the key global multi-stakeholder partnership to support country-led efforts to improve reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health and nutrition. On May 7, 2021, Canada announced a pledge of $100 million to the GFF’s Resource Mobilization campaign to help reclaim health gains for women, children and adolescents. Today’s pledge of a further $50 million in support of the GFF’s work to restore essential health services brings Canada’s commitment to the resource mobilization campaign to $150 million and total support for the GFF to $590 million. Canada co-founded the GFF in 2015, alongside the World Bank, Norway, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and United Nations and other partners.
Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, UNICEF estimated a 30% overall reduction in essential nutrition services coverage, reaching 75% to 100% during lockdowns. These numbers include fragile countries where there are humanitarian crises.
By 2022, COVID-19 could result in an additional
- 2.6 million stunted (under-height) children
- 9.8 million wasted (underweight) children,
- 168,000 child-deaths, and
- 2.1 million more maternal anemia cases.
Women and girls are at higher risk of being affected by malnutrition: 60% of the world’s hungry are women, according to the World Food Programme.
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Canada has announced a financial contribution of $195 million for 11 projects with Canadian and international partners. A portion of this funding is part of the $520 million pledged by Canada at the launch of the Nutrition for Growth Year of Action a year ago.
Project: Support to COVID-19 Essential Health Services Grants
Partner: Global Financing Facility (GFF)
Location: Multiple countries. This pooled fund managed by the World Bank will provide grants to up to 36 low- and middle-income countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America with the highest maternal, newborn and child mortality rates.
Description: The GFF is a multi-stakeholder partnership helping countries tackle the greatest health and nutrition issues affecting women, children and adolescents. The COVID-19 Essential Health Services grants will enable partner countries to prioritize and strengthen the primary care and community-based services, capacities and health-care workforce that are critical both for equitable and effective delivery of COVID-19 tools and for other essential health services for women, children and adolescents. These grants seek to balance supporting countries’ immediate needs for COVID-19 tools and delivering and maintaining essential health services, including nutrition and sexual and reproductive health, with sustained efforts to strengthen the countries’ health systems.
Project: Integrated Nutrition and Gender Project in Senegal (PINGS)
Partner: Nutrition International
Description: The project aims to reduce gender inequalities that prevent women and adolescent girls from exercising their rights and improving their health (nutrition and reproductive health) and the health of those around them in the context of the COVID‑19 pandemic. The initiative takes an innovative approach that integrates gender and nutrition to transform gender relations in a positive way to improve the health of women, adolescent girls and children.
Project: Greater Rural Opportunities for Women 2 (GROW2)
Partner: Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA)
Description: This project will facilitate the success and empowerment of an estimated 40,000 women smallholder farmers and entrepreneurs in the poorest regions of northern Ghana. By empowering women entrepreneurs with knowledge of good agricultural and nutrition practices, raising awareness within communities of the importance of women’s economic participation and shifting social norms around the distribution of domestic work, the project will strengthen women’s resilience in the face of climate change and the risk of a COVID-19 pandemic-related rise in food insecurity.
Project: Girls Reproductive Health, Rights and Empowerment Accelerated in Tanzania (GRREAT)
Description: This project will empower vulnerable Tanzanian adolescent girls to improve their nutrition, sexual and reproductive health and rights, and well-being through a multifaceted and comprehensive approach and by working with adolescent boys and girls, parents, communities and governments.
Project: Building Rights for Improved Girls’ Health in Tanzania (BRIGHT)
Partner: Nutrition International
Description: This project aims to utilise nutrition programming as an entry point to provide young and/or pregnant girls in the remote rural region of Tabora with equitable, gender-responsive and adolescent-friendly nutrition, SRHR and protection, by building agency and empowering adolescents (10-19 years old) to exercise their sexual and reproductive health and nutrition rights. Overall the initiative will support and deliver an integrated package of SRHR and nutrition services.
Project: Supporting the Integrated Fight Against Chronic Malnutrition in Mali
Partner: Action Against Hunger (ACF)
Description: This project aims to improve the nutritional status of children under 5 years old, as well as pregnant and lactating women in the Kayes and Sikasso regions. The project will address 3 major causes of chronic malnutrition: lack of access to adequate care, healthy environments and appropriate nutrition.
Project: COVID-19: A Nutrition response for Pregnant Women and Children
Partner: Nutrition International (NI)
Location: Pakistan, Bangladesh, Senegal, Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Nigeria
Description: The initiative will support NI to adapt its existing programming to the COVID-19 context and expand its work to meet the needs of women and children who have become even more vulnerable to malnutrition because of the pandemic. NI will do this through the expansion and adaptation of life-saving nutrition services, such as micronutrient supplements, as well as though building resilience through strengthening national and global evidence and analysis, and investing in capacity building for decision-makers.
Project: Support to School Health and Nutrition: Canadian Grant for South Sudan and Somalia
Partner: World Food Programme (WFP)
Location: South Sudan, Somalia
Description: This project aims to provide an integrated suite of activities to support children’s well-being, health and nutrition in South Sudan and Somalia as part of the COVID-19 emergency response. The initiative will deliver school meals, take-home rations, micronutrient supplementation and deworming medication to 111,500 schoolchildren in both countries while ensuring adherence to COVID-19 mitigation measures.
Project: Support to Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement Secretariat Phase III
Partner: United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)
Location: Global (not country-specific)
Description: The SUN Movement is a collection of stakeholders from over 60 countries and sub national states who aim to eliminate malnutrition. This contribution will continue Canada’s support for the SUN Movement’s program of work, as per Canada’s commitment to the SUN 3.0 Strategy (2022 to 2025). The initiative will aim to strengthen nutrition policy and advocacy, build national action plans, increase country capacity to finance, implement and track action in nutrition, and leverage SUN governance to ensure action and accountability.
Project: Building Back Nutrition Services – COVID-19
Description: This project aims to reduce the nutritional vulnerability of children under the age of 5 (boys and girls), adolescent girls, pregnant women and lactating mothers in 3 districts of Bangladesh by building back the coverage and quality of nutrition services to the pre-COVID-19 pandemic situation. Bangladesh’s health systems and nutrition services have been significantly affected by COVID-19. This project adopts a community-based preventive approach to address the root causes of malnutrition.
Project: Every Child Thrives: Response to Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Partner: Effect: Hope
Description: This project aims to ensure that marginalized and vulnerable groups in Kenya, particularly children under the age of 5, have the resources to access nutrition and health services during the COVID-19 pandemic. This project responds to the threat of COVID-19 by supporting and strengthening the capacity of the local health system to deliver essential nutrition and health services in 5 targeted counties in Kenya: Kilifi, Kwale, Siaya, Taita Taveta and Uasin Gishu.