An estimated 18.7 million people in the Sahel region in West Africa were affected by a food and nutrition crisis due to drought, sporadic rains, poor harvests, soaring food prices and widespread displacement. As a result, more than 1 million children under the age of five were at risk of dying from severe acute malnutrition. Canada, through CIDA, helped to meet vital humanitarian needs in the Sahel, and as part of its efforts, created the Sahel Crisis Matching Fund.
For every eligible dollar donated by individual Canadians to registered Canadian charities, Canada set aside one dollar for the Sahel Crisis Matching Fund. CIDA will allocate these funds to established Canadian and international humanitarian organizations for humanitarian assistance efforts that benefit the people most affected by the crisis. On December 4, 2012, Minister Fantino thanked Canadians for donating more than $6.9 million to the fund.
To ensure that donations collected in response to the crisis by registered Canadian charities were taken into account in determining the size of the Sahel Crisis Matching Fund, the charities concerned were required to complete and send in the Sahel Crisis Matching Fund 2012 Declaration Form (PDF, 595 KB, 2 pages) to CIDA, declaring the amount of eligible donations received. This form had to be received by CIDA on or before October 15 in order to be taken into account in determining the size of the Sahel Crisis Matching Fund.
The Sahel Crisis Matching Fund is separate from the funds raised by charities and will be administered separately by the Government of Canada. This means that a charity declaring the amount of eligible donations raised does not receive a matching dollar from the Government of Canada. For every eligible dollar donated by individual Canadians to registered Canadian charities, the government set aside one dollar for the fund. The government will use the fund to support the efforts of experienced Canadian and international humanitarian organizations to meet immediate needs in response to the crisis in the Sahel.
The Sahel Crisis Matching Fund will support experienced Canadian and international humanitarian organizations with significant in-country capacity to deliver humanitarian assistance in the Sahel region.
Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) interested in applying for project financing should first ensure that they meet the minimum institutional eligibility requirements. For information on eligibility requirements and on how to apply for humanitarian assistance funding, please see the CIDA's Guidelines for Emergency Humanitarian Assistance Project Proposals and Reports (PDF, 426 KB, 43 pages).
Charitable organizations fundraising for the relief efforts in the Sahel region will not have privileged access to the fund. Allocation decisions will be based on CIDA's humanitarian assistance guidelines and the ability of Canadian and international humanitarian organizations to access the affected populations and deliver timely, effective, and appropriate humanitarian assistance.
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