Government of Canada

Global Affairs Canada

Canada providing further humanitarian assistance to Somalis

May 14, 2013

Etobicoke — Millions of Somalis are living in crisis due to prolonged conflict and widespread food insecurity, resulting in acute malnutrition and displacement. Today, following a townhall held to discuss the current challenges in Somalia, Ted Opitz, Member of Parliament for Etobicoke Centre, announced on behalf of the Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of International Cooperation, further life-saving assistance in response to humanitarian appeals for the people of Somalia.

"Somalia remains a country in extreme humanitarian crisis," said Mr. Opitz. "We are ensuring that life-saving humanitarian assistance, including food, water and shelter, is there for the most vulnerable people to help stave off the effects of food insecurity and conflict."

More than one million people in Somalia require immediate humanitarian assistance, and as many as 1.7 million more 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 per cent emergency threshold. Over 70 percent of the population is without reliable access to safe water. In addition, more than one million Somalis remain internally displaced, and as many as one million more have sought refuge in neighbouring countries.

"Canada is ensuring that Somalis affected by this crisis receive the emergency support they need,” said Minister Fantino. "Canada is responding quickly to this crisis and will continue to monitor the situation closely."

Today's announcement follows Mr. Opitz’s participation at the Conference on Somalia in London, U.K. on May 7, 2013 where he reiterated Canada's ongoing commitment to helping the most vulnerable people in Somalia, as well as of Somali refugees in Kenya.

Canada provides humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable people facing natural disasters and conflict. Economic Action Plan 2013 affirms Canada's commitment to providing humanitarian assistance. The new Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development will also maintain the mandate of poverty alleviation and will 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

Media Relations Office
Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
Telephone: 819-953-6534
Follow us on Twitter: @CIDA_CA


Each year, Canada responds to the annual appeals issued by international and Canadian humanitarian agencies. These annual appeals outline the planned response to a variety of humanitarian crises due to conflict or food insecurity around the world. Such crises result from prolonged hunger, conflict, insecurity and the breakdown of civil order and they affect huge numbers of people, cause extensive human suffering, and are extremely difficult to resolve.

As outlined below, in response to the 2013 appeals for Somalia and Kenya, Canada is providing over $32 million in humanitarian assistance in response to humanitarian needs both inside Somalia as well as for Somali refugees residing in Kenya. This includes the $3.25 million which Mr. Opitz previously announced at the Conference on Somalia on May 7, 2013 in London, U.K.

Humanitarian needs in Somalia ($23.25 million)

Oxfam Canada - $2 million

Oxfam Canada will improve health and living conditions for an estimated 135,000 drought- and conflict-affected people in 14 communities in Garbaharey and Baardeheere districts, Gedo Region, through:

  • the establishment and support of 12 supplementary feeding facilities and two therapeutic feeding centres to prevent and treat acute malnutrition;
  • the establishment or rehabilitation of 20 water points;
  • the establishment of 16 community latrines (at health facilities) and 140 demonstration latrines (to encourage and assist households in building their own facilities);
  • the distribution of essential sanitation and hygiene items (water purification tablets, jerry cans, etc.) to as many as 7,100 households;
  • the training of 14 community health workers, six nurses, and 14 water committees; and
  • conducting sanitation and hygiene promotion activities targeting an estimated 19,000 households.

Save the Children Canada - $1.7 million

Through this project, Save the Children Canada will improve health and living conditions for up to 100,000 displaced and conflict-affected people in Mogadishu through:

  • support to four community health centres (through the provision of training, drugs, and equipment) and one outpatient feeding centre (for the treatment of malnutrition);
  • the establishment or rehabilitation of two boreholes (serving more than 14,000 households);
  • the provision of improved shelter and basic items (e.g., fuel-efficient stoves, hygiene supplies) for more than 200 displaced households; and
  • training for 30 community health workers and 80 community nutrition workers to provide outreach services and disseminate knowledge of proper health, hygiene and nutrition practices.

World Vision Canada - $2 million

Through this project, World Vision Canada will improve health and living conditions for as many as 27,000 drought- and conflict-affected people in Luuq District, Gedo Region, through:

  • the operation of four mobile health clinics;
  • the establishment or rehabilitation of five water points;
  • the establishment of 150 community latrines with hand-washing facilities;
  • the establishment and operation of two child-friendly spaces to promote child protection;
  • the provision of training to medical practitioners and community outreach workers; and
  • conducting 110 community training sessions covering topics such as health, hygiene and sanitation.

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees - $1 million

This support will contribute to improved health, living conditions and protection for internally-displaced and other crisis-affected people, through the provision of:

  • emergency shelter to as many as 20,000 internally displaced households;
  • essential household items to as many as 90,000 households;
  • protection and support provided to internally-displaced survivors of sexual and gender-based violence; and
  • support to as many as 100,000 displaced households to voluntarily return to their areas of origin.

United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) - $4 million

CIDA's support will contribute to the improved health, well-being and protection of children, women and their families, through the provision of:

  • treatment of malnutrition for as many as 106,000 children under the age of five;
  • essential vaccinations for approximately 2.6 million women and children;
  • access to essential health services for approximately 2.4 million people;
  • improved access to water for as many as 675,000 people and new access to sanitation to up to 42,000;
  • community-based care and support for as many as 6,000 child victims of gender-based violence or military recruitment;
  • access to quality education for as many as 300,000 children; and
  • necessary inputs for protection of livelihoods for as many as 30,000 crisis-affected families.

United Nations World Food Programme - $9.5 million

CIDA's support will contribute to the provision of food and nutrition assistance through the provision of:

  • food rations or cash grants for more than one million people in households suffering from crisis or emergency-level food insecurity;
  • therapeutic or supplementary feeding and nutritional support for an estimated 1.3 million pregnant and lactating women, malnourished children under the age of five, and members of other vulnerable groups;
  • livelihood protection and/or support (e.g., food for work) for as many as 320,000 people; and
  • food rations to promote education for as many as 250,000 people, particularly girls.

United Nations World Food Programme-Humanitarian Air Service - $800,000

CIDA's support will contribute to ensuring that relief efforts reach beneficiaries through the provision of:

  • safe and reliable in-country passenger air service for humanitarian organizations;
  • transportation of light cargo (e.g., medicines) for humanitarian agencies; and
  • timely medical and security evacuations for humanitarian staff.

Other Humanitarian Partners - $2.25 million

This support will contribute to improved health and livelihoods of crisis-affected people through:

  • the distribution of general food rations and other essential items for up to 120,000 crisis-affected people for 3-4 months;
  • improved access to safe potable water for up to 384,000 people;
  • medical treatment of up to 22,000 children suffering from severe malnutrition; and
  • agricultural and livestock support for up to 360,000 people.

Humanitarian needs for Somali refugees in Kenya ($9.5 million)

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees - $5.5 million

CIDA's support will contribute to improved health, living conditions and protection for Somali refugees through the provision of basic services (including shelter, water and sanitation, and medical care) and protection for more than 500,000 Somali refugees living in Kenya.

United Nations World Food Programme - $4 million

CIDA's support will contribute to the provision of food and nutrition assistance to crisis-affected and food-insecure people through general food distribution for more than 500,000 Somali refugees.