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Foodgrains Bank welcomes sustainable development goals

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Urges increased Canadian commitment for foreign aid spending

Canadian Foodgrains Bank welcomes the adoption of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 193 countries, including Canada, during a session of the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 25, 2015.

The SDGs replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which expire in 2015. This new global vision includes goals aimed at ending extreme poverty and hunger, reducing inequality, promoting more sustainable production and consumption, reducing inequality, improving governance, and addressing issues of climate change and peace.

“These goals articulate a bold global vision, one which echoes the call we hear from the biblical prophets to create conditions where everyone is able to flourish,” says Canadian Foodgrains Bank executive director Jim Cornelius. “People of faith can play an important role in championing and finding ways to implement this vision.”

The Foodgrains Bank especially welcomes the second goal of ending global hunger, achieving food security, improving nutrition, and promoting sustainable agriculture.

“We see the vision, mission, and programming of the Canadian Foodgrains Bank as being well aligned with this goal” says Cornelius.

“Significant progress has been made in reducing hunger during the period of the Millennium Development Goals, with the prevalence of hunger in developing countries falling from 23% to 13% between 1990 and today, but much remains to be done.”

Making further progress towards these new ambitious goals will require a significant mobilization of resources and efforts by local communities, civil society, national governments, international institutions, and the private sector.

Cornelius is urging the Government of Canada to play its part by increasing foreign aid.

“Additional resources will be needed to meet the targets that are set out,” says Cornelius, noting that as a percentage of Gross National Income, Canada’s foreign aid spending has fallen from 0.34 percent to 0.24 percent, ranking it 16 out of 28 donor countries.

From 2011–12 to 2013–14, Canada’s aid spending has dropped by $670 million.

“Canada could certainly do better as a country. Increased foreign aid, particularly aid focused on promoting sustainable agriculture, can make an important contribution to reducing and ending hunger.”

Canadian Foodgrains Bank is a partnership of 15 churches and church agencies working together to end global hunger. In the 2014-15 budget year, the Foodgrains Bank provided over $41 million of assistance for 1.1 million people in 39 countries. Canadian Foodgrains Bank projects are undertaken with matching support from the Government of Canada. Assistance from the Foodgrains Bank is provided through its member agencies, which work with local partners in the developing world.

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