The Aga Khan Foundation’s World Partnership Walk is now Canada’s largest event for raising awareness and funds for global progress.
Tens of thousands of us turn out each year — Sunday marks the 31st such walk — and have raised $90 million for programs such as the one in Mozambique.
Walks in 10 cities raised $7 million in 2014. The Aga Khan Foundation points out it spends not a dime of contributions on administration; every cent raised goes to the target program.
… Canadians have shown their approval of this kind of approach to international development.
Walking for a good cause
VANCOUVER SUN 05.26.2015
As the global population marches relentlessly toward eight billion, the possibility of declining agricultural production triggered by climate change casts the long and deepening shadow of food insecurity. Nowhere is this a more troubling prospect than in the arid regions of Africa, particularly in the sub-Saharan states.
That continent’s population is projected to double between now and 2050, a period in which North America’s population will grow by less than one per cent while Europe’s is expected to decline by four per cent.
Yet some crop scientists are forecasting that over the same span, droughts, desertification and loss of arable land will result in diminished yields for crucial commodities. Wheat production might fall by 17 per cent, for example, millet by 10 per cent and sorghum by 15 per cent. One scientific study tracked crop yields for the past 30 years and found that as global temperatures rose, production of key cereal commodities fell. Another study links declining rice yields to higher night-time temperatures. It forecasts a 10-per-cent decline in grain yields for every degree that temperatures rises during summer dry seasons.
Insight on Mozambique
This is a concern for all, but some regions will suffer greater consequences more rapidly. Among the most vulnerable is Mozambique. It’s estimated 64 per cent of the population is already exposed to chronic food insecurity. Half that country’s people live in poverty, malnourishment and endemic illiteracy. Almost half have no access to safe water. The United Nations ranks the destitute nation 165th of 169 countries on its human development index. It’s a country cursed by natural disasters of Biblical proportions. Locusts, floods, droughts: millions of poor farmers have been plagued by 15 catastrophes over the past 25 years.
Residents of Metro Vancouver [and 9 other cities across Canada] will be asked to help do something to assist the people of Mozambique by turning out Sunday for the World Partnership Walk, the Aga Khan Foundation’s annual fund-raiser for good works. This year, the foundation is focused on building food security and raising incomes for the impoverished farmers of Mozambique.
What Canada’s Aga Khan Foundation is doing
The foundation’s Canadian arm has been working with its counterpart there since 2010 to improve conditions in seven of the most stricken districts. The approach is holistic, attacking the complex problem of food insecurity and poverty on inter-related fronts. For example, although agriculture is a main focus because it’s the primary activity and livelihood for most of the population, adult literacy, household nutrition, family health, educating girls, developing markets for produce and establishing community-based savings and credit institutions are all integrated components of the program. Initially, the project will reach 35,000 households but the plan is launch a process that will continue to grow on its own.
This year’s World Partnership Walk convenes at 10 a.m. at Lumbermen’s Arch in Stanley Park. There’ll be live multicultural entertainment, a tropical fruit and snack bar, exhibits and talks about the impact the program is achieving and the chance for a lovely five-km walk with plenty of your nicest, most engaging and generous neighbours.
For more information about World Partnership Walk, visit the website www.worldpartnershipwalk.com