Minister Oda highlights Canada’s support to African development

May 12, 2012 - The Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation, travelled to Africa from May 7 to May 10, 2012, where she attended the Intergovernmental Forum on Mining and Minerals, the Grow Africa Investment Forum, and the World Economic Forum on Africa. The events were attended by heads of African states, key ministers, international experts, and leaders in the African business community.

"Africa has the potential to lead the world in sustainable economic growth, which will result in sustainable poverty reduction across the continent," said Minister Oda. "With Canada's participation in these key meetings, I was able to demonstrate Canada's continued leadership in food security and agriculture, in addition to our focus on Africa's economic growth. Canada was recognized in every venue as taking significant steps in effectively transforming its development work to realize real change for those living in poverty."

"It was said that international development in Africa has moved from an age of handouts to an age of hand ups and is now into the age of handshakes. Working with key African partners and institutions demonstrates Canada's genuine efforts to focus on economic growth as the most effective way to better the lives of Africa's poor."

Minister Oda met senior officials, including Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi; H.E. Jakaya Kikwete, President of the United Republic of Tanzania; H.E. Jean Ping, Chairperson of the African Union Commission; and Mr. Donald Kaberuka, President of the African Development Bank. The Minister also met with Mr. Bekele Geleta, Secretary General of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and reiterated Canada's continued support to meeting humanitarian needs in Africa.

Throughout the forums and in her discussions, Minister Oda received the appreciation of African and international development leaders for Canada's early leadership on meeting Africa's humanitarian needs and the focused strong approach Canada has taken to work within country plans for growth and prosperity. Minister Oda received commendation for her dedication in support of women entrepreneurs as an important element in advancing sustainable economic growth in Africa.

"The plight of the people in these regions continues to be precarious, and Canada remains committed to help meet their immediate humanitarian needs and support efforts to build their resilience," said Minister Oda. "This is why Canada moved early to support those facing imminent famine last year in East Africa as well as supporting the international aid efforts after famine caused migration and death. Unfortunately, the humanitarian needs in East Africa continue, and Canada is providing on-going support to help those in need."

Canadian support announced today amounts to $114.2 million, bringing the total response to humanitarian appeals for Africa to $225.2 million in 2012. Canada, through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), is supporting organizations such as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the World Food Programme, and United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) as well as the International Committee of the Red Cross and Canadian non-governmental organizations.

This support is helping to improve access to food and to provide lifesaving nutritional support through a number of activities, including the distribution of emergency food rations, support for community-based treatment of acute malnutrition and livelihoods, and improving access to safe water. CIDA's support is also helping to respond to the needs of refugees in Africa, including in both East and West Africa.

For more information on Canada's work in Africa, please visit the CIDA website.

- 30 -

For more information, media should contact:

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
Follow us on Twitter: @CIDA_CA

Backgrounder

Canadian Funding to Humanitarian Appeals (2012) for Africa

Ongoing conflicts, years of drought, extreme poverty, soaring food prices and reduced pastoral productivity have made the people of Africa among the world's most vulnerable, particularly in the Sahel region and East Africa. Canada is currently one of the largest country donors to the humanitarian responses in both of these regions.

CIDA's support is helping to improve access to food and to provide lifesaving nutritional support through a number of activities, including the distribution of emergency food rations, support for community-based treatment of acute malnutrition and livelihoods, and improving access to safe water. CIDA's support is also helping to respond to the needs of refugees in Africa, including in both East and West Africa.

Canadian support announced amounts to $114.2 million, bringing the total response to humanitarian appeals for Africa to $225.2 million in 2012.

  • The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is working to protect the lives and dignity of victims of war and internal violence throughout Africa by providing emergency assistance to victims of armed conflict; promoting International Humanitarian Law; and cooperating with National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to help ensure a concerted and rapid humanitarian response to the needs of victims of armed conflict. ($19,100,000)
  • The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is helping to meet the urgent food needs of populations affected by food insecurity and conflict throughout Africa via the provision of food assistance, food for work, food for assets and the local purchase of food commodities. ($42,000,000). Through its Humanitarian Air Service, WFP is also providing transportation and logistics support to humanitarian operations in East and Central Africa.($2,700,000)
  • The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) is providing humanitarian support to women and children affected by drought and conflict in the Sahel region and East Africa, the crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo and severe acute malnutrition throughout Africa. This includes the provision of commodities to treat severe acute malnutrition, safe drinking water, sanitation facilities and hygiene programming, emergency education, basic health care and protection services for children and women. ($16,000,000)
  • Save the Children Canada is providing water, sanitation and hygiene services to 120,000 people affected by conflict in Sudan's Abyei Area, and will provide nutrition care and treatment services to 23,000 women and children in South Sudan ($2,500,000)
  • CARE Canada is addressing the immediate water and sanitation needs of 20,000 drought-affected people in Djibouti and 45,000 refugees in South Sudan. Through CIDA's support, CARE Canada is ensuring these people have improved access to adequate supplies of safe water and proper sanitation facilities. ($1,987,000)
  • Islamic Relief Canada is providing basic food rations to 40,000 people affected by drought and conflict in the Bay and Bakool regions of Somalia. This will help reduce the risk of acute malnutrition, particularly amongst pregnant women and young children. ($1,500,000)
  • World Vision Canada is helping to meet the immediate humanitarian needs of 26,000 drought and conflict-affected people in the Gedo Region of south-western Somalia by improving access to quality emergency health care and nutrition support. Thirty-six thousand people are also benefiting from improved access to adequate supplies of safe water. ($1,500,000)
  • Oxfam Canada is addressing the emergency water and sanitation needs of 195,000 internally-displaced persons living in the the Afgooye Corridor and 181,000 internally-displaced persons living in settlements in Mogadishu, as a result of the ongoing conflict in Somalia. This will be achieved through the construction, improvement or rehabilitation of water distribution systems and sanitation facilities. ($1,400,000)
  • World Relief Canada is helping to meet the basic human needs and protect the health and well-being of 42,500 conflict-affected people in Sudan's Darfur region by providing water, health and hygine services, as well as pshcyo-social support to women and children affected by conflict. ($1,200,000)
  • Action contre la faim (ACF) is addressing the basic needs of 40,000 displaced and conflict affected beneficiaries in North and South Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo. Project activities focus on: community-based treatment and management of acute malnutrition, including through screening, therapeutic and supplementary feeding; improving access to safe water and sanitation facilities; and providing subsistence support to vulnerable displaced, returnee and host families. ($1,100,000)
  • The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is providing emergency and protection relief to returnees and displaced families in Zimbabwe, including health and psychosocial support. IOM is also providing a wide range of support to governments and the UN High Commission for Refugees by implementing refugee resettlement programmes and providing voluntary repatriation assistance to refugees. ($1,000,000)
  • Plan International Canada is helping to save lives and maintain the health of internally displaced people in two camps in North Darfur, Sudan, by providing life-saving emergency water, sanitation and hygiene services. These activities will directly benefit over 65,000 internally displaced people. ($900,000)
  • Development and Peace is assisting internally displaced people in West Darfur, Sudan, by providing life-saving emergency nutrition and health care in four camps to over 146,500 internally displaced people and host communities affected by conflict. Project activities include the provision of primary health care, obstetric care, supplementary feeding and immunizations. ($800,000)
  • The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is providing assistance and protection to refugees and displaced populations in Central, East and West Africa, through the provision of food, water and sanitation, medical support, shelter and protection, and basic relief supplies. ($13,250,000)
  • Médecins Sans Frontières is addressing the immediate medical needs of drought and conflict-affected populations in the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia and South Sudan. Activities will be carried out in hospitals, health centres and mobile clinics, and will focus on providing emergency medical services, including surgery; treatment of disease; pediatric care and reproductive health; medical and psychological treatment for victims of sexual violence; and screening and treatment of acute malnutrition. ($4,700,000)
  • The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) provides crucial coordination in both the acute phase of a sudden onset crisis and in protracted humanitarian situations. CIDA's support to OCHA's Field Offices will ensure that immediate coordination and dissemination of information related to current humanitarian crises and humanitarian action with governments, UN agencies, non-governmental organizations and the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is maintained. ($2,600,000)

New Allocations for the Sahel Region Food and Nutrition Crisis

Throughout the Sahel region, millions of people are at risk of severe food shortages due to a variety of complex issues, including insufficient rains, poor crop production, high food prices and insecurity. On February 23, 2012, Minister Oda announced Canadian support to address humanitarian needs in this crisis. From that announcement, the following new allocations have been made:

  • CARE Canada is addressing the emergency needs of 18,000 vulnerable people affected by both the food crisis and conflict in northern Mali by providing essential household items and hygiene kits and ensuring that vulnerable households have access to an alternative source of income through cash-for-work activities. ($1,000,000)
  • Oxfam Québec is addressing the immediate needs of more than 26,000 vulnerable households facing the food and nutrition crisis throughout Burkina Faso by ensuring adequate access to safe water, providing fodder and vaccines for livestock, and providing vulnerable households with access to an alternative source of income through cash-for-work activities. ($1,000,000)
  • World Vision Canada is helping to save lives and protect livelihoods of more than 40,000 people in Mauritania by improving access to safe water, and providing acute malnutrition management support and livelihoods generating activities, including access to tools, seeds and training. ($1,000,000)
  • The Centre d'étude et de Coopération international (CECI) is addressing immediate needs of vulnerable families in the heavily-affected regions of Niger. Through CIDA's support, CECI will undertake livelihoods support activities for 29,000 families including providing seeds, fertilisers, tools and training ahead of the planting seasons. ($2,000,000)

These initiatives will complement the efforts underway by the International Committee of the Red Cross, the UN World Food Programme and UNICEF, as detailed in the February 23, 2012 announcement.