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Gov’t to double cyclone relief donations

Women and children displaced by Cyclone Idai in Malawi. NCA photo.

April 1, 2019

By Janice Biehn

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The Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister of International Development and Minister for Women and Gender Equality, announced today the government will match donations before April 14, 2019 to the Cyclone Idai joint appeal of the Humanitarian Coalition. PWRDF is participating in the match through Canadian Foodgrains Bank, a member of the Humanitarian Coalition.

The purpose of the match is to encourage Canadians to give generously to emergency relief efforts in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe.

Up to three million people there are in desperate need of humanitarian aid in the aftermath of Cyclone Idai. Hundreds of people have died and survivors have been displaced, creating vulnerable situations for children separated from their families, and women and girls in refugee camps. Severe flooding has damaged water systems leading to a lack of clean water and risk of cholera and other water-borne diseases. Roads, homes schools, and crops have been destroyed.

The Fund will amplify the support of Canadians and reinforce the response of Canada’s Humanitarian Coalition and its members, which include the Canadian Foodgrains Bank. For every dollar donated by individuals to PWRDF’s Cyclone Idai response, between March 15, 2019 and April 14, 2019, the Government of Canada will provide the same to the Humanitarian Coalition, up to a maximum of $2 million.

“As a member of  Canadian Foodgrains Bank, we are glad to be supporting the important work of the Humanitarian Coalition,” says Will Postma, PWRDF executive director. ”We can promote coordination in raising the needed funds from Canadians, quickly respond to the needs of those affected and promote collaboration in how funds can best be used. We are encouraged by the match and life-saving support from the Canadian Government.”

Global Affairs Canada will transfer the matched funds to the Humanitarian Coalition, which will in turn allocate the funds among its members based on criteria such as their capacity and presence in the affected region.

The local church partners of several Foodgrains Bank member agencies, including PWRDF, were among the first to respond to the cyclone using their existing resources and partnerships. The Foodgrains Bank’s share of funds raised through the joint appeal will be used to scale up the efforts of these church partners to provide desperately needed help in the coming weeks and months.

“In times of crisis, what matters most are the lives of the most vulnerable,” says Jim Cornelius, Foodgrains Bank executive director. “Our participation in this Humanitarian Coalition joint appeal means that we can be part of a coordinated effort to mobilize Canadians to respond to this disaster in a way that will have a greater impact than any one of us might have alone.”

The Humanitarian Coalition is a collection of ten leading aid organizations providing Canadians with a simple and effective way to help during large-scale humanitarian emergencies. Its goal is to reduce unnecessary fundraising competition, increase the impact of humanitarian responses and reduce administrative costs.

“The Humanitarian Coalition is excited to welcome the Foodgrains Bank as part of our collective Canadian response to the devastating effects of Cyclone Idai,” says Richard Morgan, Humanitarian Coalition executive director. “The Foodgrains Bank and its member churches have a long history of effective work globally, and they bring vitally important capacity and partnerships to the humanitarian crisis unfolding in this region. By working together, we can save more lives.”

How you can help

Donate to PWRDF’s Cyclone Idai Emergency Response:

  • On your cell phone – text ‘PWRDF’ to 45678
  • Online – at and choose emergency response
  • Telephone – call toll-free at 1-866-308-7973
  • Mail – send a cheque marked Cyclone Relief to
    The Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund
    80 Hayden Street, 3rd floor
    Toronto, Ontario
    M4Y 3G2

Download and share this Cyclone Idai Emergency response bulletin insert with your parish or community.