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World Renew to Share in $75 Million Grant

December 15, 2021

The Government of Canada recently announced that Canadian Foodgrains Bank of which World Renew is an active member, will be receiving $75 million over the next three years to help fund emergency response projects around the world.

This renewed grant agreement, announced virtually by Minister of International Development Hon. Harjit Sajjan, will help ensure that people most affected by humanitarian crises around the world continue to receive food and nutritional support, through the work of Foodgrains Bank’s 15 members and their local partners.

“This grant will allow us to fund projects within our network of churches and church agencies working on the common goal of eradicating hunger,” said Ken Kim, board chair of Foodgrains Bank and director of disaster response for World Renew.

“This grant will allow World Renew to tap into resources and respond quickly to disasters and disruptions,” said Kim.

Since 1983, Canada’s International Development – Global Affairs Canada has provided $699 million worth of emergency assistance through the Foodgrains Bank.

While delivering news of the grant, Sajjan stated, "In 2020, the world experienced the single largest increase in global hunger ever recorded, a trend that has only continued this year. This predictable and multi-year funding to Canadian Foodgrains Bank will help ensure that food and nutritional support is provided to those who need it most in times of crisis."

Foodgrains Bank has a longstanding relationship with the Government of Canada. Since the beginning of Canadian Foodgrains Bank in 1983, the Government of Canada has funded food assistance projects in 68 countries through financial contributions to Foodgrains Bank, said executive director Andy Harrington.

“We and our members are immensely grateful for the additional impact the grant allows us to have in the work of delivering emergency food assistance around the world,” he added.

This means help for people like Morah, a Syrian refugee living in Lebanon whose family struggled each day to find enough to eat.

Without the emergency help provided through World Renew and Canadian Foodgrains Bank, along with the financial support of the Government of Canada, Morah's young children would continue to suffer from hunger. Thanks to special emergency food, though, the children no longer go hungry.

Jan McIntyre, a longtime Foodgrains Bank supporter from the United Church and a farmer near Clearwater, Manitoba, spoke at the event announcing the grant: “As a donor, I greatly respect and appreciate the Canadian Foodgrains Bank approach of working in partnership with local partners and organizations already present in a country. Not only does this approach bring practical value; it also respects and offers dignity to the people of the countries and communities we help.”

Last year,Foodgrains Bank provided $49 million in assistance for 989,000 people in 33 countries.

“This grant is a big deal for us,” said Ida Kaastra-Mutoigo, director of World Renew-Canada. “We will be able to access the global fund and be able to reach hundreds of thousands of people quickly every year for the next three years.”

An important aspect of funding such as this, she added, is to make sure gender justice is assured in the relief World Renew gives and the work it does.

“When there is a disaster, women bear the burden to feed the family,” said Kaastra-Mutoigo. “I’ve visited women in many displaced persons camps and have heard horror stories of what can happen to a woman if she can’t provide food for her family.”

Over the years, with Foodgrains Bank funding, World Renew has been able to provide assistance in the aftermath of floods,, hurricanes, tsunamis, typhoons, and earthquakes across the globe. World Renew averages $10 million (CDN) a year in programs with Canadian Foodgrains Bank making it a key member of the network.

Often the people they help, said Ken Kim, are persons “who are no longer able to be resilient and are overcome by the realities that they face. These are people and communities that are simply overwhelmed and can’t cope. Often what they face is not about adaptation but surviving in the midst of overwhelming displacement and hunger.”

Causes of this situation can be “climate related” or the ongoing fallout from conflicts in places such as Syria, he said.

Included in Canadian Foodgrains Bank’s assistance is help for refugees fleeing these conflicts. “Now, these are people who have no future for themselves – no stability and no possibility for it,” said Kim.

The beauty of Canadian Foodbanks, said Kim, is that “it is an incredible network of churches from different denominations willing to put aside their differences and come together to end hunger.”

Kaastra-Mutoigo added: “In addition to this unique ecumencial collaboration, there is another beautiful gem or blessing. This is the experience of the government working together with faith-based members of Canadian Foodgrains Bank to make a dent in global hunger and to help people who are suffering around the world. In the end, God’s love becomes reality as food is provided, food security is achieved, and food justice is advocated for.”