Canada supporting Save the Children Canada project in Somalia

Canada ’s contribution is helping to improve health and well-being of displaced Somali children and their families

July 24, 2014 – Toronto, Ontario - Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada

Today, on behalf of the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, Ted Opitz, Member of Parliament for Etobicoke Centre, announced new humanitarian assistance funding to Save the Children Canada for a project in Somalia that is contributing to the improved health and well-being of up to 137,000 Somalis displaced by conflict and drought.

“After years of conflict and chronic drought, Somalia has one of the highest rates of child malnutrition and infant mortality in the world,” said MP Opitz. “For many years, Canada has provided significant support for humanitarian assistance efforts in Somalia. WithCanada’s continued support, Save the Children Canada is helping to meet the urgent needs of Somali people who have been displaced by this crisis, including vulnerable children.”

Conflict, insecurity, and drought have left 3 million people inSomalia(up to 40% of the population) in need of humanitarian assistance in 2014. Nearly 900,000 people face acute hunger and 1 million remain displaced from their homes. Child malnutrition rates in the country are among the worst in the world and access to medical care is extremely limited.

The funding announced by Canada today will be used to support Save the Children Canada’s life-saving efforts in Somalia toward improving access to safe water, proper sanitation, healthcare, and treatment for acute malnutrition for displaced populations in and around Mogadishu.

“We are very grateful for the financial support for this growing humanitarian crisis,” said Patricia Erb, Save the Children Canada President and CEO. “With Canada’s support, Save the Children Canada will be able to significantly improve the health and living conditions of more than 130,000 Somalis who have been displaced by conflict and drought. With this support we will build the health care capacity on the ground by supporting community health centres, feeding centres, meeting sanitation needs and training community health care workers to provide health services and disseminate knowledge of proper health, hygiene, and nutrition practices. We can create sustainable change by supporting knowledge and development directly within the community.”

Save the Children Canada raises funds and operates programs domestically and internationally to provide emergency relief and promote child rights.

“Canada’s support to humanitarian efforts in Somalia reflects the shared Canadian values of compassion and generosity,” said Minister Paradis. “Canada is committed to helping meet the humanitarian needs of people affected by crises, both in Somalia and around the world.”

MP Opitz made the announcement at a townhall meeting held in Etobicoke to discuss the current challenges inSomalia.

Quick Facts

  • On July 23, 2014, Nina Grewal, Member of Parliament for Fleetwood-Port Kells, on behalf of Minister Paradis, announced new funding to support UNICEF’s humanitarian efforts in Somalia.
  • On May 28, 2014, the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health, announced new funding to support the United Nations World Food Programme’s food and nutrition programming for Somali families in need.
  • From May 28 to 30, 2014, in Toronto, the Prime Minister hosted Saving Every Woman, Every Child: Within Arm’s Reach. At the Summit, Canada committed $3.5 billion in support for the period of 2015–2020 and renewed global momentum to advance maternal, newborn and child health as a global priority beyond 2015.
  • Canada’s contribution will continue to target the most effective ways to reduce maternal and child deaths by prioritizing three programmatic areas: strengthening of health systems, improving nutrition, and reducing the burden of leading diseases.
  • Solid international progress is being made to address maternal, newborn and child health. The global number of deaths of children under the age of five has dropped significantly, from nearly 12 million in 1990 to 6.6 million in 2012.

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Sandrine Perion
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of International Development and La Francophonie

Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
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