Government of Canada

Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada

www.international.gc.ca

East Africa Drought Relief Fund — Frequently Asked Questions

Q. 1 How will Canada's East Africa Drought Relief Fund work?

For every eligible dollar donated by individual Canadians to registered Canadian charities in response to the East Africa drought, the government will set aside one dollar for the East Africa Drought Relief Fund.

The government will use the East Africa Drought Relief Fund to provide assistance through international and Canadian humanitarian organizations, employing established channels and procedures.

Q. 2 Will the Government match all donations?

To be counted for the purposes of the East Africa Drought Relief Fund, donations from individual Canadians may not exceed $100,000 per individual and must meet certain conditions:

  • They must be monetary in nature.
  • They must be made to a registered Canadian charity that is receiving donations in response to the East Africa drought.
  • They must be specifically earmarked for response to the East Africa drought.
  • They must be made between July 6 and September 16, 2011.
  • Registered charities declaring eligible donations must complete the declaration form. Forms must be received by CIDA on or before September 30 for donations to be counted towards the size of the relief fund.

To ensure that donations are eligible for the matching program, you should ensure

  • that the donation complies with the conditions outlined above,
  • that the registered charity receiving the donation will be using the funds for the drought relief efforts in East Africa, and
  • that the registered charity receiving the donation will be declaring it to CIDA.

It is up to the registered Canadian charity to certify, through the declaration form, that the donations declared are eligible. Registered Canadian charities are under no obligation to declare donations to CIDA if they are not satisfied that they meet eligibility requirements.

Q. 3 How can I confirm if a charity is registered?

Charities are registered by the Canada Revenue Agency. Please visit the Canada Revenue Agency website.

Q. 4 Is there a limit on the relief fund?

No, there is no limit on the amount of funds that are available through this program from the Government of Canada.

Q. 5 For each dollar given to a registered charity for the drought relief efforts in East Africa, will the charity receive a matching dollar from the government?

No, the East Africa Drought Relief Fund will be managed separately from the funds raised by registered charities. For every dollar donated by individual Canadians to Canadian registered charities, the government will set aside one dollar to the relief fund. The government will use the relief fund to support the efforts of experienced Canadian and international humanitarian organizations to meet immediate needs in response to the drought in East Africa.

Q. 6 How will the Government of Canada use the East Africa Drought Relief Fund?

The East Africa Drought Relief Fund has been set up to match the generosity of Canadians in order to support the relief efforts of experienced Canadian and international humanitarian organizations.

Decisions as to which organizations will receive funding will be based on the merit of their project proposals and their ability to deliver aid in the most timely, effective, and efficient manner possible.

Q. 7 What kinds of activities will the relief fund support?

The relief fund is set up to support the efforts of experienced Canadian and international humanitarian organizations to meet immediate needs in response to the drought in East Africa.

Q. 8 Does this program follow the same principles used following the 2010 flooding in Pakistan and earthquake in Haiti?

Yes, the same criteria will apply.

Q. 9 How will the registered Canadian charity use my donation?

Registered charities will use the donations received from individual Canadians to deliver their own relief projects or will forward the donations to another organization with the capacity to deliver humanitarian assistance in East Africa.

Q. 10 How do I ensure that my donation will be well spent towards the drought relief efforts in East Africa?

It is important for Canadians to make informed decisions about how their donations will be used. To do this, here are some questions to help guide your decisions:

  • How is the charity contributing to the relief efforts in East Africa?
  • How will the charity use your donation to help the people affected by the drought in East Africa?
  • Is the charity conducting its own relief efforts on the ground in East Africa?
  • Has the charity worked in East Africa before, doing what, and for how long?
  • If the charity has never worked in East Africa, what experience does it have carrying out disaster relief in other developing countries?
  • If the charity is not working in East Africa itself, where is your donation going?

How do I find this information?

You should verify that the organization is a registered charity according to the Canada Revenue Agency, and you should contact the charity directly and try to get as much information as you can.

If you do not already have a charity in mind, a good starting point would be to check out the news reports on the drought relief efforts in East Africa. This will help you get a picture of the situation on the ground, and identify those organizations that are involved in the relief activities.

Q. 11 How will the federal government ensure that the donated money is used transparently and accountably?

Registered charities receiving donations for the purposes of drought relief efforts are accountable to their donors for the use of the funds they receive. Individuals are encouraged to ensure that the organizations to which they are donating are using the funds for drought relief.

The East Africa Drought Relief Fund is separate from, and not pooled with, the funds raised by the charitable organizations. CIDA has monitoring, audit, and evaluation systems in place to ensure that its programs, including those financed through the relief fund, are implemented effectively.

Q. 12 Can Canadians send relief goods as a way of helping?

Canadians have always been known for their generosity. The best way for Canadians to help those affected by the crisis is to make a monetary donation to a reputable Canadian or international humanitarian organization that intends to use the funds for drought relief.

Monetary contributions enable relief staff to purchase needed goods locally. This saves valuable time and transportation costs. Goods are often less expensive when they are purchased locally and this also helps to support the local economy.

For more information, please consult "How Canadians Can Help" on the website of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada.