The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, today announced, on behalf of the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, that Canada will provide $10.4 million for humanitarian assistance to vulnerable communities in Somalia.
Minister Hussen made the announcement during an event with members of the Somalian community at the Kingsview Village Junior School in Etobicoke, Ontario.
This new funding will be allocated to the World Food Programme, UNICEF, the United Nations Development Programme and the American Refugee Committee to help address the critical needs of Somalis affected by the ongoing severe drought and food insecurity in Somalia.
“While Somalia has taken great steps in recent years toward peace and stability, the country remains vulnerable to both natural disasters and conflict. Canada stands in solidarity with Somalia and the millions of Somalis requiring humanitarian assistance in the face of drought and insecurity. Canada is proud to provide this humanitarian assistance to address the needs of the most vulnerable and ensure those requiring emergency assistance are reached.” Said Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
Since 2015, Canada has allocated $89.3 million to address drought- and conflict-related humanitarian needs in Somalia, which includes $4.6 million from the Famine Relief Fund. This funding has been channeled through UN agencies, the Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement and non-governmental organizations to help provide food, water and sanitation; treatment for acute malnutrition; and other medical support, shelter and protection to those in need. Canada also provides humanitarian support for approximately 1 million Somali refugees living in neighbouring countries through its funding to the UN Refugee Agency and the World Food Programme.
During the announcement, Ahmed Hussen was accompanied by fellow Cabinet member, Kirsty Duncan who is also the member of Parliament for North Etobicoke.
Other federal government officials and representatives included Borys Wrzesnewskyj, The member of Parliament for Etobicoke Central who is a great friend of the Somali Community in Toronto.
Ahmed Hussen said, “Borys made history as one of the few western politicians to visit Somalia in 2005 when no other Western politician was interested in doing so. His trip to war-torn Somalia got press coverage that reignited the interest of the International community in helping Somalia and the Somali people”
Canada is a significant humanitarian donor in Somalia. This assistance to humanitarian partners will help save lives and alleviate suffering among the Somali people in many ways.
The World Food Programme will receive $5.25 million to provide emergency food assistance to millions of drought-affected Somalis.
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) will receive $2.5 million to deliver health and nutrition services, water and sanitation, and education and protection to children.
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will receive $1.7 million to support local and international humanitarian organizations in providing flexible and timely assistance to those in need.
The American Refugee Committee has received $950,000 to provide water and health interventions to drought-affected regions in northern Somalia.