Conflict, Climate Crisis and Global Food Insecurity

Date: Thursday, October 13, 2022
Time: 1–3 p.m. (Eastern) | 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. (Pacific)

Food security means all people, at all times, have access to sufficient, nutritious and culturally appropriate food. Yet, conflict, the climate crisis, poverty and inequality—factors which are not directly related to food—are continuously driving global food insecurity, disproportionately affecting populations in the global south, with women, children and farmers experiencing the greatest need.

How are issues such as conflict and the climate crisis driving food insecurity? What is our role in seeking justice to end hunger? The International Affairs Committee of The Presbyterian Church in Canada presents a two-hour webinar on how Canadian Presbyterians can advocate for an end to global hunger.


Rebecca Vetharaniam Richards
Chief, Emergencies & Transitions
& Head, Global Network Against Food Crises
United Nations World Food Programme

Rebecca Vetharaniam Richards currently leads the World Food Programme’s “Global Network Against Food Crises” which seeks to bring lasting solutions to fragile and conflict countries with high levels of food insecurity and malnutrition. Rebecca brings 22 years of progressive experience in political affairs, humanitarian and transition planning and response. Her experience includes the 2000 Afghanistan Crisis, Pakistan Earthquake and Floods, Cyclone Nargis Response in Myanmar and the Somalia Crisis. A UK national, Rebecca holds Bachelor’s (Classics & Literature) and Master’s (International Peace & Security) degrees from King’s College London.

Rebecca will talk about how conflict undermines food security.

Naomi Johnson, Senior Policy Advisor on Climate Change at the Canadian Foodgrains BankNaomi Johnson
Senior Policy Advisor on Climate Change
Canadian Foodgrains Bank

Naomi Johnson is Senior Policy Advisor on Climate Change at the Canadian Foodgrains Bank and co-chair of the Canadian Coalition on Climate Change and Development (C4D). She specializes in climate finance and food security and strives to increase support for adaptation to those most vulnerable. Naomi holds a Master’s in Development Practice, along with Honours BA and BSc degrees, and has worked in climate change and development policy on projects in northern Manitoba and Nunavut, and conducted research and assessments on food insecurity in Vietnam and Nepal.

Naomi will discuss the role of the climate crisis in global food insecurity and how church partner Canadian Foodgrains Bank is working with farmers to adapt to changing climates in the global south.

Image of arrow pointing downConflict, Climate Crisis and Global Food Insecurity Webinar Slide
Watch the webinar

Food Security Reflection from the Rev. Dr. Dorcas Gordon, member of the International Affairs Committee

Let me end by going back to the beginning to the question we began with: what is our role in seeking justice in a world of food insecurity?

​As I thought about this before and during our online seminar my thoughts took me to the Gospel of Luke whose focus on food is quite surprising. Sixteen times he refers to Jesus telling stories about the meaning of food for well-being or eating meals primarily with those many in that society would see as “other, unworthy, those to be ignored.”

In the midst of the Roman occupation of Palestine, a time of violence, dispossession, and corruption in the legal, political, and economic systems – a time when life for the less privileged was challenging and often very short. In the midst of all that was life-denying, through the many references to food, Luke describes Jesus’ social and political activism, an activism that sought well-being, fulness of life for all.

​May what we have heard today about food insecurity brought about by conflict and climate change lead us to embrace a similar costly activism as we seek to love our neighbours, especially those in situations where food – an absolute necessity for a full life is absent.

May it be so! May it be so!