Government of Canada

Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada

www.international.gc.ca

Canada is helping Somalis most in need

May 7, 2013

LONDON, U.K. — Somalis and Somali refugees will receive lifesaving humanitarian assistance from Canada, announced Ted Opitz, Member of Parliament for Etobicoke Centre, speaking behalf of the Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of International Cooperation, while participating in the Conference on Somalia today in London, United Kingdom.

"Canada is lending a helping hand to address the immediate needs of the most vulnerable people in Somalia, as well as of Somali refugees in Kenya," said Mr. Opitz. "Canadian values of compassion and concern for those facing acute malnutrition and displacement are expressed in this urgent assistance."

Humanitarian emergencies caused by conflict affect large numbers of people, cause extensive human suffering, are extremely difficult to resolve, and undermine long-term development efforts. Canada's assistance will help provide food, water, and shelter to those most in need.

"Canada is a compassionate neighbour," said Minister Fantino. "This humanitarian assistance for Somalis represents the best of Canadian values and will help stave off the chronic drought and conflict."

Canada provides humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable people facing natural disasters and conflicts. Economic Action Plan 2013 reaffirms Canada's commitment to international development investments and humanitarian assistance. The new Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development will maintain the mandate of poverty alleviation and help Canada achieve greater efficiency, accountability, and focus to continue to improve the lives of people in need around the world.

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For more information, media should contact:

Daniel Bezalel Richardsen
Press Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation
Telephone: 819-953-6238
Email: danielbezalel.richardsen@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

Canada provides support to Somalis

Canada is providing $3.25 million to assist Somalis facing acute malnutrition and displacement, due to prolonged conflict and widespread food insecurity.

Canada will provide $1 million to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to help improve the health, living conditions and protection of internally displaced and other crisis- affected people. These funds will help provide:

  • Emergency shelter to approximately 20,000 internally displaced households;
  • Essential household items to some 90,000 households;
  • Protection and support to internally displaced survivors of sexual and gender based violence; and
  • Support to approximately 100,000 displaced households to voluntarily return to areas of origin.

Canada will also provide $2.25 million to help improve the health and livelihoods of crisis-affected people. These funds will help provide:

  • General food rations and other essential items for up to 120,000 people;
  • Improved access to safe potable water for up to 384,000 people;
  • Medical treatment to some 22,000 children suffering from severe malnutrition; and
  • Agricultural and livestock support for up to 360,000 people.

Humanitarian Situation

An estimated 2.1 million people (or 25 percent of the population) require immediate humanitarian assistance, and a further 1.7 million people remain on the brink of crisis, with all reserves depleted and vulnerable to the slightest shock. Malnutrition rates in many areas of the country remain above the 15 percent emergency threshold. More than 70 percent of the population is without reliable access to safe water. In addition, more than one million Somalis remain internally displaced, and a further one million have sought refuge in neighbouring countries.