July 24, 2011
- Today, the Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, visited the Mississauga offices of World Vision to promote the East Africa Drought Relief Fund. The Fund, announced on July 22, 2011, by the Minister of International Cooperation, Beverley J. Oda, will allow Canadians to participate in relief efforts in the region, and the Government will recognize their participation by adding an equivalent amount to its own relief efforts. Eve Adams, MP for Mississauga-Brampton South, accompanied Minister Flaherty. This weekend, many other Government MPs, on behalf of Minister Oda, promoted the Fund through social media and community events across Canada.
"For every donation made by Canadians to an eligible registered Canadian charity, the Government will contribute the same amount to the East Africa Drought Relief Fund," explained Minister Flaherty. "My colleague, Minister Oda, recently visited the people suffering through this tragic crisis. Our Government is deeply saddened by the extent of the crisis, and is committed to helping our African friends."
For every dollar an individual Canadian donates over a 10-week period (retroactive to July 6, 2011, and ending September 16, 2011) to a registered Canadian charity responding to the drought in East Africa, the Government will contribute an equivalent amount to the East Africa Drought Relief Fund. The Government of Canada will administer the relief fund separately, disbursing funds to organizations best suited to make an effective and real difference in the lives of people affected by the drought. This Fund is in addition to Canada's earlier contribution of $22 million and also in addition to the $50 million Minister Oda announced on July 22, 2011.
"I saw a true humanitarian crisis at Dadaab. The stories of how the women and children struggled to reach the camp are incredible," said Minister Oda last week. "Their perseverance and courage must be matched by our willingness to help. Canada remains gravely concerned by this humanitarian crisis. Our commitment today will help bring relief to those affected, particularly for the women and children who are the most vulnerable."
Without any significant rainfall for over two years, people in the region are experiencing crop failure, loss of livestock and acute malnutrition, resulting in the migration of hundreds of thousands of people. This has led to a humanitarian crisis, which many experts forecast will extend into the next year. The United Nations upgraded the level of humanitarian emergency in parts of Somalia, officially recognizing the crisis as a famine.
On Friday, Minister Oda visited the Dadaab refugee camps in Kenya, the largest in the region, to review first-hand the humanitarian crisis, and the work and needs of humanitarian partners on the ground.
For more information on Canada's response to the East Africa drought and for further details on the East Africa Drought Relief Fund, please visit CIDA's website
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Mary Ann Dewey Plante
Office of the Minister of Finance
Press Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation
Media Relations Office
Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)