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Canadian charities unite to respond to humanitarian crisis in East Africa

Unprecedented drought in countries such as Kenya has led to a humanitarian crisis. World Renew photo.

June 6, 2023

By Janice Biehn

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In response to the impact of conflict, climate and hunger in parts of east Africa, combined with the ripple effects of the conflict in Sudan, 12 Canadian aid agencies working together as the Humanitarian Coalition are raising funds to rush assistance to people in need.

The Canadian government has announced it will match donations by individual Canadians until June 30, 2023, up to a total of $5 million.

Several events and circumstances have led to this point:

  • Clashes between rival military factions in Sudan that began on April 15, 2023 have left more than 1,800 people dead and forced 1.4 million people to flee their homes.
  • Refugees from the Sudan conflict have flooded into Chad, Central African Republic, and South Sudan, putting a strain on already overburdened humanitarian relief efforts in those countries.
  • The persistent drought conditions first seen in 2020 continued into 2023 in Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya, with more than 23 million people facing severe shortages of food and water.
  • The Democratic Republic of the Congo is home to the highest number of food-insecure people worldwide at 26.4 millionpeople – a quarter of the country’s population.
  • Humanitarian Coalition members are on the ground in the region, providing emergency food, water, shelter, and health care to people in need.

“The combined effects of climate change, conflict and hunger have left millions of people in Sudan, surrounding countries and throughout parts of East Africa on the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe,” says Richard Morgan, Executive Director of the Humanitarian Coalition. “The Humanitarian Coalition is calling on all Canadians to donate to help people in need.”

”PWRDF partners are sharing stories of hunger such as we not seen in many many years,“ says Will Postma, PWRDF Executive Director. ”In these stories are vulnerable people and families uncertain of their very survival. PWRDF is grateful for donations that allow us to be of support in such critical times.“

The Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund is a member of the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, one of the 12 organizations that make up the Humanitarian Coalition. The other organizations are Action Against Hunger, Canadian Lutheran World Relief, CARE Canada, Doctors of the World, Humanity & Inclusion, Islamic Relief Canada, Oxfam Canada, Oxfam-Québec, Plan Canada, Save the Children Canada and World Vision Canada. Through its membership in the Foodgrains Bank, PWRDF is able participate in the matching program.

How you can help

Please keep the people living in affected countries in your prayers. You can also support emergency assistance to people in East African countries by donating to PWRDF by June 30. Your donation will be matched one-to-one by the Government of Canada, to a maximum of $5 million. Give online, by calling 416-822-9083 (or leave a message toll-free at 1-866-308-7973 and we will return your call) or by mail. Send your cheque to PWRDF, 80 Hayden Street, 3rd Floor, Toronto, ON, Canada, M4Y 3G2. Please indicate “East Africa” in the memo field.