As a child, I was made to eat everything on my plate and was told that wasting food was affecting the starving children in China. Today, sad to say, my family and many other Canadians have forgotten the need to avoid food waste and, more importantly, have turned our eyes away from starvation in other parts of the world.
In fact, in the last few years, while severe drought has ravaged the eastern part of the African continent, we have been focused on Covid, the war in the Ukraine and inflation to the detriment of millions of people who have suffered and died without mention in our press.
According to the Humanitarian Coalition, 25,000 people die daily in Africa due to starvation. This means that, every two days, more people die of starvation in Africa than the number of people whose deaths have been attributed to Covid in Canada over two years. Yet if you were to listen to the CBC (Covid Broadcasting Corporation), one might think that Covid was still the number one world issue affecting the earth, especially the Canadian population.
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Canada’s response to world hunger and this famine has been dismal. In May, Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development, announced $68 million for funding to Rwanda and Kenya, of which only $6 million was earmarked for humanitarian crisis funding, while the majority of the funding, $37 million, was allocated to promoting women in business.
Or compare the $6 million that could help provide food to the $1 billion that Canada has committed to the conflict in Ukraine, much of which is allocated to military support and artillery.
According to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office, $500 million has been allocated to the Ukrainian crisis this year, with $73 million allocated to water, sanitation and food. This is significantly more than is being allocated to
providing relief and long-term solutions to starving Africans.
So what can we do as Canadians?
- Reach out to your MP and ask them to petition the government to do more to support the crisis in Africa,
- Open your wallet and donate to feed the hungry in Africa at this time.
- Ask your local media to do a story to spread the message about the acute disaster facing millions of people now.
- Watch your food waste. According to Love Food Hate Waste, the average Canadian family throws out 140 kg of food each year.
Starvation in Africa is real, and the consequences are dire. It’s time that Canada wakes up and does more to recognize that our brothers and sisters are starving while we sit by and ignore their plight.
Dave Fuller, MBA, is an award-winning business coach and a partner with Pivotleader Inc.
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