A World Without Hunger Thanks to The Farmers’ Movement

November 17, 2008

Uniterra invites the population to express themselves on the Food Crisis

Ottawa – November 12th marks the official launch on the Uniterra.ca website of the online Forum: “A World Without Hunger Thanks to the Farmers’ Movement” held through the Journées québécoises de la solidarité internationale (JQSI). JQSI are taking place November 12-23 within the province of Quebec by members of the Quebec Association for International Cooperation organisations (AQOCI). This annual event provides an occasion to discuss and gather information on various subjects related to International Development.

“Now, the tragic situation that poor families face is well known; they spend 80% of their limited resources on food and they cannot pay the rising price of grain, which has increased by 50 to 100%”, says Michel Chaurette, president of the Alliance Agricole Internationale and Executive Director of Centre for Education and International Cooperation (CECI). “This Forum is an opportunity to reflect on the role Farmers’ Movements play in the Food Crisis”, adds Sylvain Matte, Director of the Uniterra Programme.

Uniterra, one of Canada’s leading volunteer cooperation programmes, is a joint effort between World University Service of Canada (WUSC) and the Center for International Studies and Cooperation (CECI). Uniterra allows citizens and organizations to help reach the 8 Millennium Development Goals to reduce world poverty.

Uniterra Partners in Canada and in Africa will contribute to the online Forum by providing texts to stimulate participation in the online discussion. Jacques Desjardins from the Alliance Agricole Internationale, Quebec, Prof. Lynda Lusby of Acadia University, Nova Scotia, Mr. Théophile Dipama from the Interprofessional Committee of Rice in Burkina Faso (CIR-B) and Mr. Sidy Ba, manager of the Frame for Dialogue of Peanuts Producers in Senegal (CCPA) are a few examples of some participants submitting comments in the online froum. The forum will be facilitated by two current volunteers: Kelli Fraser, working with the Federation of Community Forestry Users of Nepal (FECOFUN) and Suzanne Comment, with the National Coordination of Farmers’ Organisations (CNOP), Mali.

In addition to the Forum, Uniterra will also be organizing various activities with volunteers for JQSI.

On November 15 will be a day to exchange ideas on Food Sovereignty at Université du Québec à Montreéal (UQAM). Three international volunteers will discuss the various challenges currently surrounding Food Sovereignty in Burkina Faso, Mali, and Senegal through the Panel-Discussion, “A World Without Hunger Thanks to the Farmers’ Movement”.

Local Committee students from Université du Québec à Montréal, Université Laval, Vanier College and Université du Québec en Outaouais will organize various conferences, kiosks and Food Fairs on their respective campuses. Also, on November 20th from 5 to 9 pm at the Marché Jean-Talon, Quebec Without Borders interns will launch the “Mali, a look at an agricultural cooperative” photo exhibit. This exhibit will be on display until November 28th.

Uniterra mobilizes over 400 volunteers of all ages, annually, on various projects in 13 countries across the world. These volunteers help over 125 partners of the global South in development initiatives to visibly reduce poverty in their communities. Partner groups returned volunteers and Local Committee members mobilize the Canadian population in support of international cooperation and achieving the eight Millennium Development Goals. To date, volunteers have reached more than half-a-million Canadians to underline the importance of International Development.

For more information, please contact: Rob Milchard
Communications Officer
World University Service of Canada