Canada helps millions affected by drought in Eastern Africa
Ottawa, Ontario―Today, the Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation, announced how Canada will be providing continued aid to those affected by the ongoing crisis in eastern Africa through the East Africa Drought Relief Fund.
In October, the Minister reported on the generosity of Canadian donations to help those suffering in eastern Africa. To fulfil its commitment, the government is providing support, through the East Africa Drought Relief Fund, to 14 organizations that are working on the ground to help those most in need.
"Although worldwide media has moved on, the plight of the people in eastern Africa remains precarious, and the need for humanitarian assistance persists," said Minister Oda. "I am proud that Canadians have demonstrated their compassion and have not abandoned those who are facing extreme hunger, acute malnutrition, disease, and loss of livelihoods in the Horn of Africa."
An estimated 13 million people continue to need humanitarian assistance in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia. Malnutrition rates remain at alarming levels throughout the region, and, in Somalia, an estimated 250,000 children continue to face starvation in three regions affected by famine. An estimated 1.5 million people have been displaced within Somalia by the drought and conflict, and more than 840,000 Somalis are now living as refugees in Ethiopia and Kenya.
Despite the challenges in reaching those who are suffering, the Government of Canada is confident that these organizations are able to distribute the necessary food, water, and supplies directly to the people.
In today's announcement, the Government of Canada is detailing how it is fulfilling the commitment made through the East Africa Drought Relief Fund. Through the Fund, Canadians are supporting efforts of UN agencies, the Red Cross Movement, and Canadian non-governmental organizations to continue to help meet food, water, health care, and other essential needs of drought-affected people.
In response to the worst drought in eastern Africa in 60 years, the Government of Canada, through CIDA, has allocated $145.1 million since December 2010 to support humanitarian relief efforts in the region.
Through Canada's and other donors' ongoing assistance, results are being achieved. For example, the World Food Programme and its partners are now feeding more than 7 million people across the region. Since January, UNICEF and its partners have reached more than 400,000 children less than five years of age in Somalia with nutrition treatment services, and Oxfam continues to provide an estimated 700,000 people in Mogadishu and the Afgooye Corridor (Somalia) with access to safe potable water.
For more information on Canada's response to the drought in eastern Africa, please visit CIDA's Humanitarian Crisis in East Africa page.
For further information media should contact:
Press Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation
Media Relations Office
Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)