March 22, 2022
By Will Postma
Canadians and many people across our world are standing up, donating and flying the flag for Ukraine. How important this support is for the millions of Ukrainians now displaced and fearful inside their own country, or for those who have fled to Poland, Romania, Hungary, Moldova, Slovakia and even Canada.
In less than one month, well over 1,200 donors have given more than $280,000 to PWRDF for Ukraine.
The war in Ukraine is having a powerful ripple effect on food security in countries where PWRDF partners are working. Ukraine, long-known as the bread basket of Europe, supplies a large amount of wheat to the World Food Programme as it provides emergency food relief in countries hard hit by conflict and climate-related disasters. Outside of these food distribution programs, the economies of 18 African and least developed countries import as much as 50% of their wheat from Ukraine and Russia. We are already hearing from churches in East Africa about shortages and increasing food prices, with wheat as well as corn, barley and sunflower oil unable to be exported from in both countries.
PWRDF is grateful for donations to support Ukraine where needs are so high. We are glad to be working with the ACT Alliance and partners around the world who can respond quickly and effectively, with food, with health care, with shelter, with post-trauma supports and other priority needs.
Yet as we focus our prayers and donations on Ukraine, we must not forget other global crises that continue:
- In Yemen where food rations for 8 million people are being cut due to a funding shortfall and continued war. The head of the World Food Programme noted that they have no choice but to take food from the hungry to feed the starving.
- In Afghanistan, where 95% of the population does not have enough food and where 3.4 million people are displaced within their own country.
- In Ethiopia, where the lack of safe access to medicine and other humanitarian supplies has left 6 million people in Tigray and neighbouring regions cut off from supports, hungry, fearful and unable to participate in the economy and well being of their country.
- In the Philippines, where two million homes were destroyed by a typhoon in December, 2021 and where even today the most affected are living under roofless or makeshift homes made of tarpaulins or salvaged iron sheets.
- In Syria, where, after 11 years of conflict and crisis, children are dropping out of school and child marriage is increasing, as families cope with increasing poverty.
Our world is hurting, even more so when we consider the multiplier effects of climate change and the COVID pandemic. Over the past three years, PWRDF’s humanitarian response expenditures have doubled, from $513,627 in 2019, to $1,041,860 in 2021. The number of people worldwide in need of humanitarian assistance has also grown, from 1 in 45 in 2019 to 1 in 29 in 2021.
Our global economies are increasingly interconnected. Your prayers and support help PWRDF do its very best to respond to the global crises of this world. Giving to Ukraine is important, as are your gifts that help us support many other partners where individuals, families and communities are struggling for food, health, shelter and safety.
Behind the otherwise frightful numbers of so many people in crisis are precious lives, stories and hopes for a world that is truly just, healthy and at peace.
How you can help
To make a donation to PWRDF’s emergency response, go to pwrdf.org/give-today and click on Emergency Response, or choose from specific emergency appeals listed. You may also donate by phone at 416-822-9083 or leave a voicemail toll-free at 1-866-308-7973 and we will return your call, or mail your cheque to PWRDF, 80 Hayden, 3rd floor, Toronto, Ontario, M4Y 3G2. Please mark Emergency Response in the memo field.