Government of Canada

Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada

Humanitarian Crisis in East Africa

Total contribution from Canadians: $70.4 million

CIDA's support including humanitarian assistance to East Africa

CIDA's support including humanitarian assistance to East Africa
A Somali woman holds a malnourished child. © UN Photo/Stuart Price

Successive seasons of failed rains in East Africa-combined with increasing food prices, conflict, and limited humanitarian access-have resulted in a humanitarian crisis affecting millions of people in Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia, and Djibouti. According to the United Nations, at least 13.3 million people, including children, are vulnerable to malnutrition, disease, and violence. Hungry and in need of emergency assistance, people are converging upon refugee camps in Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia in search of food and water.

In response to the worst drought in the region in 60 years, the Government of Canada, through CIDA, has allocated $145.1 million since December 2010 to support humanitarian relief efforts. It has:

  • Committed $4.6 million to experienced partners such as the World Food Programme (WFP), UNHCR, Oxfam Canada and World Vision to help people affected by the drought by providing medical support, water and sanitation, and shelter to refugees and host communities throughout East Africa.
  • Committed an additional $50 million for those affected by the drought on July 22 and allocated this amount on August 17 as follows:
    • another $25.5 million to the WFP to help meet the immediate food needs of 11.5 million drought-affected people in Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia including drought-affected refugees in Ethiopia and Kenya
    • $7 million to UNHCR to meet the basic needs of up to 582,000 displaced Somalis throughout the region
    • $5 million to UNICEF to provide urgent life-saving treatments to about 510,000 families in Somalia and the region
    • $13.05 million to support the efforts of five Canadian non-governmental organizations-CARE Canada, Oxfam Canada, Action against Hunger, World Vision Canada and Plan Canada-providing emergency assistance to drought-affected people.
  • Created the East Africa Drought Relief Fund through which the Government of Canada is matching the generosity of Canadians. For every dollar individual Canadians contributed to Canadian registered charities responding to the East Africa drought, between July 6 and September 16, 2011, the Government of Canada committed to setting aside one dollar for the Fund.
  • Announced, on October 20 in an update on the East African humanitarian crisis, that Canadians donated $70.4 million to Canadian registered charities responding to the drought. The Government of Canada is setting aside an equivalent amount for the Relief Fund. DFATD is allocating these funds to established Canadian and international humanitarian organizations for humanitarian assistance efforts that benefit the people most affected by the drought.
  • Announced on December 20, 2011 Canada is helping millions affected by drought in Eastern Africa. This includes details on how Canada is disbursing $70.5 million to 14 organizations matching the generosity of Canadians who contributed to Canadian registered charities responding to the drought.

For more information, please visit What Canada's development partners are doing in East Africa.