One of the ways PWS&D works with Canadian Foodgrains Bank to end global hunger is by influencing public policies. Together, we engage Presbyterians in this work by asking concerned citizens to send personal, handwritten letters to their MPs. This year we are asking people to write about Canada’s commitment to helping vulnerable people adapt to a changing climate.
Climate Change Means More Hunger
At least 70 percent of people who regularly go to bed hungry live in rural areas in developing countries. Most of these are smallholder farmers. Their livelihoods are intimately connected to weather and climate.
What does climate change look like for many people around the world? Higher temperatures. More droughts leaving crops parched. Changes in rainfall patterns leaving farmers wondering when to plant their fields. Rising sea levels crowd out coastal communities.
For many people in developing countries, it also means more hunger.
The Story Thus Far
Canada has signed on to an international agreement to help support developing countries in their ongoing fight against climate change. Canada made a generous contribution of funds between 2010 and 2012 but the agreement calls for longer term financing too—Canada should respond with a new commitment of money.
In the past, most of Canada’s money has supported mitigation efforts, which are necessary to slow climate change but don’t meet the immediate needs of people who face hunger around the world.
We would like to see more of Canada’s contribution go toward adaptation—such as building flood barriers, conserving water and growing drought tolerant crops—as this is the immediate priority for small-scale farmers.
What can you do?
Use your voice. Write a letter, email or visit your local MP urging the Canadian government to make a new commitment of funding, and to use more of this funding to provide support to small-scale farmers and other vulnerable populations that are already dealing with climate change. Their ability to feed themselves and their families is threatened by changing weather patterns.
Organize a letter-writing event. Writing letters as a group sends a powerful message to Canada’s leaders, and it doesn’t have to be fancy or complicated.
Visit Canadian Foodgrains Bank for more information and tips on how you can make a difference.