Canada’s government responds to food crisis

By April 21, 2008

International (MNN) — Rising food prices are being blamed
for growing political unrest and a growing hunger problem. 

As the global market fluctuates violently, governments and
aid agencies are finding it costs much more to maintain the current levels of
food assistance to the most vulnerable.

The Canadian government has stepped forward to help a
ministry, says Christian Reformed World Relief Committee's senior project
manager, Grace Weibe. "The Canadian government provided 10-million dollars
more to CFG, the Canadian Foodgrains Bank. We're a principal
partner." 

One of the main problems is that food production has not
kept pace with rapidly rising consumption. The demand appears to be driven by population growth, a rapidly rising
meat and dairy consumption by a growing Asian middle class, along with the use
of grains for biofuel production.

Add to that the rising energy costs for producing and
transporting food, natural disasters and a larger vulnerable population, and
the crisis takes on a different kind of urgency.

Global food woes have now pushed aside economic fears as top
priority for world leaders. Weibe says
food prices impact everything. "What it translates to is that the price of corn has gone up
50-percent. Wheat and milk and butter, that's up 100-percent. Rice is up 150-180 percent. We haven't seen
this in 30 years." 

CRWRC distributes emergency food and nonfood items,
initiates food-for-work projects, and sometimes provides seeds and tools to
assist in the rehabilitation process. The goal of CRWRC is to engage in
international disaster response activities that maintain and build long-term
community development during the relief, rehabilitation, and reconstruction
phases.

But if things continue as they are, cutbacks are
inevitable. Weibe says they're looking
at ways to keep the programs intact. "If we can't reach as many people, it
certainly affects the ministry and the witness of God. It might be that we do supplemental feedings,
so they don't get full rations."

Pray for the teams serving Christ through CRWRC that they
would continue to be able to address the physical and spiritual needs. Pray for wisdom for the leadership teams as they
work with finite resources to ensure ministry continues. Click here if you can help.

 

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