Canada Provides an Additional $8 Million in Food and Humanitarian Aid for Drought Victims in Ethiopia

Ottawa - Maria Minna, Canada's Minister for International Cooperation, today announced an additional contribution of $8 million in food and humanitarian aid for drought victims in Ethiopia. Today's additional funding brings Canada's total contribution for the current crisis to almost $16 million, representing 24,000 tonnes of food, therapeutic rations, and other emergency aid. The Canadian food aid announced to date will be sufficient to provide supplementary food for approximately 1 million people for a period of three months.

"We are concentrating our initial response in Ethiopia, where the greatest number of people are at risk," said Minister Minna. "Today's response will immediately help those in urgent need in Southern Ethiopia and also prepare for the upcoming famine in Northern Ethiopia."

The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) has a long-term commitment to the region. In the last five years, CIDA has invested $350 million in the Horn of Africa predominantly in support of food and water security initiatives, health programs and education. In the past three years alone, the Agency has contributed close to $45 million in support of food security in Ethiopia.

Today's response by CIDA will be used in the following manner:

$7.1 million for food aid in Ethiopia.

World Vision Canada; Canadian Physicians for Aid and Relief; Canadian Lutheran World Relief and the Canadian Food Grains Bank will use the money to ship approximately 15,000 tonnes of Canadian wheat to Ethiopia. CIDA is maintaining regular contact with the World Food Programme and other donors to avoid congestion in the ports and to help ensure that transport is available to move the Canadian wheat to where it is needed in an efficient manner;

$670,000 for emergency supplies and relief for the regions of Ethiopia most severely hit.

Of that amount, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) will receive $500,000 for medical and emergency supplies and balanced high-protein food supplements to complement existing food aid. The ICRC will also supply material for the digging of wells and veterinarian medical supplies to help preserve livestock essential to the subsistence of many agricultural communities.

OXFAM-Canada will receive $170,000 to supply clean water and for improvements to existing water sources in the south-eastern area of Ethiopia. OXFAM-Canada will also provide basic health services and urgently needed food supplements for famine victims.

Today's contribution is in addition to emergency initiatives taken by Canada in the last two weeks to respond to the crisis:

On April 5, 2000, Minister Minna authorized a $6.25 million response to the World Food Programme to purchase, transport and distribute emergency food supplies for drought victims in Ethiopia.

On April 12, 2000, Minister Minna authorized $1.5 million to support UNICEF to support in the distribution of medicine and therapeutic feedings for famine victims in the Southern and South-eastern areas of Ethiopia, as well as water and sanitation projects and education initiatives for those who have been displaced by the drought.

Ethiopia is facing a serious humanitarian crisis following three years of failed rains. Drought has caused crop failures and has decimated livestock. According to current estimates, up to 8 million people in the region will need food and emergency aid over the next several months. CIDA will continue to monitor the situation and will be taking further action, as needed.


Robin Walsh
Office of the Minister for International Cooperation
Telephone: 819 953-3160

Media Relations Office
Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
Telephone: 819 953-6534

=A9 Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, 1999