August 7, 2012
Toronto—The Harper Government called on Canadians today to lend their support to the people affected by the humanitarian crisis in the Sahel region of West Africa. The announcement was made by Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation, Lois Brown, on behalf of the Minister of International Cooperation, Julian Fantino.
Canadians have shown that they are always ready to help those in need," said Minister Fantino. "
Right now, millions of women, men and children in the Sahel are suffering from hunger and severe malnutrition. This is absolutely unacceptable. With generosity from Canadians, we can do more to respond to this crisis and support people in dire need."
The Government of Canada announced that it would match dollar-for-dollar Canadian donations made to registered Canadian charities responding to the Sahel crisis through the Sahel Crisis Matching Fund. The government will also make an initial contribution of $10 million to the matching fund. This will enable humanitarian agencies to provide immediate food and nutritional support, emergency health care, water and sanitation, and livelihoods support.
The humanitarian situation in the Sahel has deteriorated dramatically through 2012, due to a combination of drought, poor harvests, rising food prices, population displacement, and insecurity. The countries most affected by the Sahel crisis are Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mauritania, Senegal, Gambia and northern Cameroon.
When lives are in the balance, every minute matters," said Parliamentary Secretary Brown. "
Canada is doing everything it can to provide assistance in the Sahel, and it is doing so quickly. It is critical that the international community ramp up its humanitarian effort and work together, so we can do more to ease the suffering of the people in the Sahel."
Canada will match funds raised from August 7 to September 30, 2012. The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) will allocate these funds to established Canadian and international humanitarian organizations to support relief efforts that will benefit the people who are most affected by the food and nutrition crisis.
The Government of Canada has already provided $47.5 million in humanitarian assistance to the Sahel, helping the relief efforts of implementing partners such as the Humanitarian Coalition, World Vision Canada and the World Food Programme.
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Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
The Government of Canada, through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), has announced $10 million in additional support for relief efforts to assist the people affected by a severe food and nutrition crisis in the Sahel region of West Africa. Today's announcement also includes the establishment of the Sahel Crisis Matching Fund to recognize the compassion and generosity of Canadians.
The humanitarian situation in the Sahel has deteriorated dramatically through 2012, due to a combination of drought, poor harvests, rising food prices, population displacement, and insecurity. The United Nations now estimates that 18.7 million people across the Sahel are facing hunger, which includes more than 1 million children under the age of five at immediate risk of severe acute malnutrition.
In early 2012, the Government of Canada, through CIDA, provided $47.5 million to support relief efforts for those affected by the crisis in Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Chad and Mauritania. With Canada's support, humanitarian organizations have been providing humanitarian assistance including emergency food and nutritional support, water, sanitation, humanitarian air services, shelter and protection, as well as livelihoods support to those affected by the crisis.
Today, the Government of Canada, through CIDA, announced an additional $10 million to support relief efforts for those affected by the crisis in the Sahel. This funding will help the World Food Programme (WFP) provide emergency food and nutritional assistance.
Through the Sahel Crisis Matching Fund, the Government of Canada will complement the generosity of Canadians.
For every dollar Canadians contribute to registered Canadian charities responding to the Sahel food and nutrition crisis, from August 7 until September 30, 2012, the Government of Canada will set aside one dollar for the matching fund.
The fund will provide effective and accountable financial support to experienced Canadian and international humanitarian organizations working in Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mauritania, Senegal, Gambia and Cameroon. Working through established Canadian and international humanitarian organizations will ensure an effective and timely response.
Donating and fundraising criteria:
Today's funding announcement will build on the results already achieved by Canada's contribution to global efforts to respond to needs of vulnerable populations in the Sahel region.
So far in 2012, as part of its response to appeals from the United Nations, the Red Cross Movement and non-governmental organizations, CIDA has provided a total of $47.5 million for its humanitarian response in the Sahel region. For example, with Canada's support, humanitarian organizations have provided food and nutrition assistance to more than 5.7 million people and have treated some 250,000 children for severe acute malnutrition.