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Humanitarian Response

Providing short- and long-term relief for people affected by natural and humanmade disasters


When natural or humanmade disasters occur, the race is on to save lives and alleviate suffering.  Humanitarian responses provide essential resources and support that are often a matter of life and death. Immediate medical care, food, clean water, sanitation and shelter can significantly increase survival rates. Long after a crisis disappears from the headlines, the need to contribute to long-term recovery persists.

Every year PWRDF responds to emergencies in Canada and around the world. Primarily, we allocate grants to appeals issued by the ACT Alliance, of which we are a member. ACT Alliance is an organization of 140 international Christian organizations working in areas of high need. When disasters happen, ACT Alliance works with partners in the affected regions to quickly assess needs and disburse funds for humanitarian relief including food and non-food items. PWRDF works with the Canadian Foodgrains Bank in this same capacity to provide emergency food relief. We also partner with the Anglican Alliance on responses with other Anglican agencies. 

In 2022-2023, PWRDF provided emergency relief to 334,994 people (95,207 women, 74,384 men, 84,729 girls and 80,674 boys):

  • In Kenya, in partnership with the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, 2,500 metric tonnes of corn, 398 MT of beans, 133,800 L of cooking oil, 35 MT of salt and 50.28 MT of corn soy blend were provided to 13,000 households experiencing the worst drought in 40 years.
  • The Seba Kare Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) Camp in Ethiopia was equipped with a new submersible pump and a new transformer was installed for the borehole that is serving 10,560 internally displaced persons (5,438 females and 5,122 males) and 2,991 host community members (1,555 females and 1,436 males).
  • In Jordan, 3,410 Syrian refugees received food vouchers, 1,264 received hygiene vouchers and 1,563 received winter clothing vouchers.
  • In Ukraine, six emergency vehicles were purchased, serviced and transferred to frontline medics working in the war zone regions of Kharkiv, Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson. The vehicles assisted both military and civilians, and were credited with saving more than 100 lives.

When disasters happen on a very large scale, the government of Canada may encourage donations by introducing a matching fund. The time period and the value of the match is up to the government.

The Humanitarian Coalition is a collection of 10 leading aid organizations providing Canadians with a simple and effective way to help during humanitarian crises. Its goal is to reduce unnecessary fundraising competition, increase the impact of humanitarian responses and reduce administrative costs. The Canadian Foodgrains Bank is a member of the Humanitarian Coalition, and PWRDF’s membership in the Foodgrains Bank allows donations to PWRDF to be matched.

In Canada

In recent years, Canada has also experienced an increase in the frequency and severity of natural disasters. Wildfires, hurricanes and floods have affected thousands of families and individuals. When these emergencies occur, PWRDF invites dioceses to apply for relief funding.

In 2023, in response to unprecedented wildfires from coast to coast, PWRDF launched a separate fund for in-Canada emergency response. This fund will allow us to respond quickly when a diocese asks us for support, rather than wait to raise funds for individual disasters. Diocese can request short-, medium- and longer- term support depending on their specific needs. These could include emergency accommodations, gift cards to purchase food, water and essentials, counselling and post-trauma supports, or locally identified long-term recovery activities to help rebuild community assets and increase community resilience.  

For more information read our PWRDF In-Canada Emergency Preparedness and Response Guidelines or our In-Canada Emergency Response booklet (as single pages or spreads).