October 5, 2011
Montreal, Quebec—Today, the Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation, announced the preliminary tally of funds donated by Canadians to registered Canadian charitable organizations working in East Africa on drought relief.
"Canadians have once again demonstrated their compassion and generosity by continuing to support the people of East Africa suffering from this catastrophic drought," said Minister Oda. "The Canadian government is proud to partner with Canadians to help those affected by the drought. We continue to work with partners on the ground to ensure Canadian aid is helping those who need it the most, including women and children."
Donations made by Canadians to registered Canadian charitable organizations, from July 6 to September 16, 2011, will be matched by the Government of Canada through the East Africa Drought Relief Fund.
The preliminary tally, as of October 4, is estimated to be just over $70 million, with total contribution amounts to be verified by mid-October.
The Government, through CIDA, will use the Fund for relief efforts that benefit the people in East Africa affected by the drought. CIDA will allocate the money raised through the Fund to experienced Canadian and international humanitarian organizations.
Minister Oda made her remarks during a keynote address at the McGill Conference on Global Food Security, where she highlighted Canada's international food security commitments.
"I am proud to report that Canada is the first G8 country to meet its L'Aquila commitment," said Minister Oda. "Canada's support will deliver results for sustainable agricultural development and for research and development needed to develop new seeds and crops that will be drought tolerant."
In fulfilling its L'Aquila commitment, the Government of Canada, through CIDA, helps countries improve food supply and long-term food security. Canada's support helps smallholder farmers, particularly women, to increase agricultural productivity, improve nutrition of malnourished children through diversifying diets, and strengthen agricultural livelihoods so families can meet their food needs. Canada is investing in agricultural research to spur scientific advances in crop production to ensure people have access to adequate, safe, and nutritious food.
The Minister underlined how Canada's programming includes a strong focus on nutrition when addressing emergency situations, and when building long-term food security. The Minister emphasized that nutrition is a key pillar in Canada's G8 Muskoka Initiative to improve Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, and that Canada is a leader in the global movement on Scaling Up Nutrition, which aims to tackle under-nutrition across a range of sectors, including agriculture and food, health, social protection, and education.
For more information on the Minister's speech at the McGill Food Security Conference, please visit CIDA's website.
— 30 —
For more information:
Press Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation
Media Relations Office
Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
The ongoing drought is having a devastating impact on millions of lives throughout East Africa. People are experiencing acute malnutrition, crop failure and loss of livestock.
So far this year, the Government of Canada, through CIDA, provided a total of $72.35 million to support humanitarian operations in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia. This funding is helping to meet the immediate humanitarian needs of the more than 13 million people who are affected by the ongoing drought in the region.
The projects being funded through Canada's $50 million additional response to the drought in East Africa, which supplemented the $22.35 million provided by CIDA earlier in 2011 include:
In recognition of the generosity of Canadians, Government of Canada announced on July 22, 2011, that it established the East Africa Drought Relief Fund.
The Government of Canada will contribute an equivalent amount of money to the Relief Fund based on the total amount of eligible donations made by individual Canadians, from July 6 to September 16, 2011, to registered Canadian charitable organizations responding to the East Africa drought.
The money raised through the Fund will be allocated by CIDA to established Canadian and international humanitarian organizations for relief efforts that benefit the people in East Africa affected by the drought.
The preliminary tally, as of October 4, is estimated to be just over $70 million dollars, with total contribution amounts to be verified by mid-October.
Canada is proud to report that as of April 2011, it is the first G8 country to fully disburse its $1.18-billion L'Aquila commitment.
At the 2009 G8 Summit in L'Aquila, the Prime Minister announced that Canada's commitment to the L'Aquila Initiative on Food Security would be $1.18 billion over three years for sustainable agricultural development, which includes $600 million in additional resources.
In delivering on this commitment, CIDA, through its Food Security Strategy, is collaborating with key partners and partner countries to address immediate, medium- and long-term food security* and agricultural needs in support of country-owned plans. Examples of some of these key multilateral partners include:
According to the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, food security exists when people are able to access enough safe and nutritious food to live a healthy life. This food can be produced domestically, imported, or through food aid.
Almost one billion people around the world have too little to eat or are malnourished, a result of a number of factors. These include population growth and volatile food, transportation and agricultural costs, as well as struggling economies and reduced global investments in food and agricultural development.
For the men, women and children who are hungry, a lack of access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food is a central obstacle to reducing poverty, which impacts their health and limits their ability to learn in school and earn a living.
— 30 —