Canada outlines support for drought-stricken East Africa

August 17, 2011

The Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation, today announced further details of Canada's support to the more than 12 million people in East Africa affected by the worst drought and famine in more than a generation.

"Canada is deeply concerned by the growing impact of the drought and famine. As I saw on my recent visit to the region, the international community is working to meet the challenges of severe hunger and malnutrition and rapidly growing numbers of refugees," said Minister Oda. "Canada will support those humanitarian efforts delivering aid directly to those most in need and commends all those who are working on this very important and life-saving mission. I encourage all Canadians to remember their commitment, as well as the courage and tenacity of those who are facing the horror of starvation and extreme malnutrition, when donating to the relief effort."

The Government of Canada is working in partnership with Canadians through the East Africa Drought Relief Fund. Through this relief fund, the Government of Canada will match the generosity of Canadians. For every dollar an individual Canadian donates over a 10-week period (retroactive to July 6, 2011 and ending September 16, 2011) to a registered Canadian charity responding to the drought in East Africa, the government will contribute an equivalent amount to the relief fund. The Government of Canada will administer the relief fund separately, disbursing sums to organizations best suited to make an effective and real difference in the lives of people affected by the drought.

As well, through CIDA, Canada has increased its financial contribution by $50 million. This pledge follows the $22.35 million provided by CIDA earlier this year for humanitarian assistance in the region, bringing Canada's total support to $72.35 million, in addition to the relief fund.

"Canadian and other international commitments will only deliver results in the lives of those affected by the drought and famine if our commitments can get to those who need help," said Parliamentary Secretary Lois Brown. "We call on everyone in the region to allow vital humanitarian assistance to reach those who need it," said Senator Andrée Champagne.

Canada is working with experienced partners in the region to ensure Canadian aid delivers results. These organizations provide emergency assistance, including addressing acute malnutrition among young children, and pregnant and lactating women.

Canada's support will help to provide access to food, safe drinking water, proper sanitation and hygiene, as well as emergency health care, including disease control.

The Government of Canada is supporting the World Food Programme (WFP) in its effort to provide food assistance for an estimated 11.5 million drought-affected people in Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia. Canada's contribution of $25.5 million to WFP for food assistance is supporting both general food distribution in these three countries and targeted efforts to meet the food needs of the most vulnerable members of society.

CIDA's contribution of an additional $24.5 million for a range of interventions will help the United Nations and non-governmental organizations working in the region to meet emergency needs of the approximately 12.4 million people in need of humanitarian assistance. Canada is also providing assistance through other UN agencies and various non-governmental organizations to provide nutrition, water and sanitation, and other non-food aid throughout the affected region. These organizations include the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Action Contre la Faim, CARE Canada, Oxfam Canada, Plan Canada, UNICEF, World Vision Canada and the United Nations Department of Safety and Security.

For more information on Canada's response to the East Africa drought and for further details on the East Africa Drought Relief Fund, please visit CIDA's web page on thehumanitarian crisis in East Africa.

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Information:

Justin Broekema
Press Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation
Telephone: 819-953-6238
Email: justin.broekema@acdi-cida.gc.ca

Media Relations Office
Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
Telephone: 819-953-6534
Email: media@acdi-cida.gc.ca

Backgrounder

The Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation, announced further details of Canada's support to the more than 12 million people in East Africa impacted by the worst drought and famine in more than a generation.

The Government of Canada is also working in partnership with Canadians through the East Africa Drought Relief Fund. Through this relief fund, the Government of Canada will match the generosity of Canadians. For every dollar an individual Canadian donates over a 10-week period (retroactive to July 6, 2011 and ending September 16, 2011) to a registered Canadian charity responding to the drought in East Africa, the government will contribute an equivalent amount to the relief fund. The Government of Canada will administer the relief fund separately, disbursing sums to organizations best suited to make an effective and real difference in the lives of people affected by the drought. Information on the total amount donated to the East Africa Drought Relief Fund will be available after September 30, 2011, once partner organizations have submitted their declaration forms.

The United Nations and non-governmental organizations listed below were selected to achieve results in effectively responding to those affected by the drought. The following is a brief description of the projects being funded through Canada's $50-million response to the drought in East Africa, as announced on July 22, 2011.

  1. World Food Programme (WFP) ($25.5 million)
    As the food assistance arm of the United Nations, WFP will help meet the immediate food needs of 11.5 million drought-affected people in Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia, including drought-affected refugees in Ethiopia and Kenya. WFP, through the United Nations Humanitarian Air Service, will also provide efficient, responsive and cost-effective air transport services for humanitarian agencies in the region.
  2. United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) ($7 million)
    Through this project, UNHCR will provide emergency assistance to address the basic needs of up to 582,000 displaced Somalis throughout the region. This includes increasing access to safe drinking water, nutritious food and needed medical assistance, as well as improving safety and living conditions in the refugee camps.
  3. United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) ($5 million)
    UNICEF, in part through funding from CIDA, will provide urgent life-saving treatments to approximately 510,000 families in Somalia and the region. UNICEF will provide ready-to-use therapeutic food at the community level through therapeutic centres; ensure access to safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene; provide access to vaccines against measles, polio and other deadly diseases; and provide access to education through temporary learning spaces and school-in-a-box kits.
  4. CARE Canada ($3.75 million)
    Through funding from CIDA, CARE Canada will:
    • Contribute to the reduction of malnutrition-related sickness and death in Ethiopia by means of a community-based approach among approximately 41,000 severely and moderately malnourished children under five and pregnant and lactating women. CARE will also provided training support for approximately 210 health professionals, workers and volunteers and conduct an awareness campaign for target communities on child growth and good nutrition practices.
    • Help address immediate life-saving needs of approximately 90,000 people in Kenya by improving access to safe drinking water for both household and livestock consumption and by improving physical security for refugees and the host community around the Dadaab refugee camp.
    • Address the basic health and nutrition needs of approximately 8,700 displaced persons in Somalia, particularly children under five, pregnant and lactating women and the elderly, through specific nutrition support, disease control activities, and hygiene and sanitation kits.
  5. Oxfam Canada ($3.75 million)
    Through funding from CIDA, Oxfam Canada will:
    • Help alleviate suffering, prevent loss of life, and reduce the vulnerability of drought-affected livestock-based households (approximately 39,000 people or 6,500 households) in Wajir district, Kenya, by helping with access to cash grants.
    • Help assist approximately 30,000 drought- and conflict-affected displaced persons (86 percent women and children) in Somalia by providing cash transfers to particularly vulnerable households to purchase food and essential life-saving items.
    • Contribute to reduce suffering in affected areas of Ethiopia for approximately 199,000 people (33,000 households) by ensuring basic needs and services such as access to safe drinking water, environmental hygiene and sanitation, emergency income through cash-for-work activities, and emergency livestock support (feeding and veterinary services).
  6. Action Contre la Faim (ACF) ($2.35 million)
    Through funding from CIDA, ACF will:
    • Help provide access to health and nutrition support for approximately 283,000 people in refugee camps in Ethiopia, including children under five, babies, and pregnant and lactating women, and contribute to reducing illness and death due to acute malnutrition.
    • Treat malnutrition and help improve the nutrition status of approximately 34,000 children under five and pregnant and lactating women in Kenya with interventions in water, nutrition and food security.
  7. World Vision Canada ($1.2 million)
    World Vision Canada will help to meet the immediate needs of water-stressed communities in Somalia and ease the impact of drought while increasing the ability of the community against future repercussions. Benefiting approximately 81,000 people, some expected outcomes of the project will be improved health, access to water and sanitation, and improved livestock and resource management.
  8. Plan Canada ($1 million)
    Plan Canada will help to save lives and maintain health by treating children under five for moderate acute malnutrition and by providing nutritional support to pregnant and lactating women, as well as access to safe drinking water, hygiene education and water-borne disease prevention. Plan Canada's project will directly benefit close to 26,000 people (mostly children and pregnant and lactating women) in Ethiopia and indirectly benefit the population of the project area who receive information on health and nutrition.
  9. United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)($350,000)
    Through CIDA funding, OCHA will coordinate the overall international humanitarian response in this complex situation in East Africa and focus on providing essential humanitarian leadership and advocacy on behalf of the affected populations and humanitarian agencies, as well as engage and coordinate with national authorities.
  10. United Nations Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS) ($100,000)
    Through this CIDA-funded project, UNDSS will provide essential safety and security services in support of the overall international humanitarian response by coordinating safety and security for United Nations and non-governmental-organization personnel contributing to the humanitarian response. This project will improve safety and security of those humanitarians working on the ground and also help expand the reach of the humanitarian operations.