Waterloo, ON – MEDA celebrates International Development Week and Canada’s history of providing development assistance around the world. From February 7th to 13th under the theme of “Go for the Goals”, it will highlight the important role that Canada plays in improving issues like gender equality, health, and climate change, and contributing to the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
As a reflection of MEDA’s commitment to the UN SDGs, MEDA is pleased to announce its new forward looking 10-year plan to create or sustain decent work for 500,000 people within the agri-food systems field. This 10-year plan is aligned with the UN’s 2030 Agenda for SDG #8: Decent Work and Economic Growth.
MEDA’s commitment to providing decent work and economic growth is epitomized by the story of Grace. Grace is an industrious smallholder Cassava farmer from Tanzania who for years, struggled to turn a profit because of the prevalence of diseases that negatively impacted her crops. Yet, when she learned about the Cassava Seed Entrepreneur program, this proved to be a game changer. Grace learned about improved cassava seed varieties, how to identify diseases that might threaten their fertility, and was provided with business trainings to better align her growing season with her customer needs. Through this program, she was able to expand her farm from three to five acres and increase her yields from 3 tons to 8 tons per acre during every planting season.
President and Chief Executive Officer of MEDA, Dr. Dorothy Nyambi, emphasizes the need to advance opportunities like M-SAWA especially during a pandemic, to alleviate global poverty and to build resilience in agri-food systems against future shocks.
“COVID-19 has laid bare the fundamental inequalities in our global economy, where people in poverty, black, indigenous, people of color, and women bear the full brunt of this crisis. By providing entrepreneurs in the Global South with access to financing, investment in their business, and technical assistance, their jobs become more secure. People are then able to lift themselves out of poverty. Together, we will make our world a more just and equal place for all,” Nyambi says.
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Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA)
Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) is an international economic development organization whose mission is to create business solutions to alleviate poverty. In 2020, we worked with 664 project and investment partners in 58 countries to help over 1.9 million direct and indirect clients unleash their potential to earn a livelihood, provide for their families, and enrich their communities. Donations to MEDA are multiplied in impact seven times on average. MEDA has offices in Waterloo and Ottawa, ON, Washington, DC, and Lancaster, PA, and internationally.