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Famine Relief Contributions

Winnipeg-based charities are hailing the federal government’s decision to match Canadian donations for famine relief.

In response to what the United Nations has called the greatest humanitarian crisis since the Second World War, the government will contribute $1 to Global Affairs Canada’s new Famine Relief Fund for every dollar donated to registered charities responding to famine and hunger in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen.

The federal government’s dollar-for-dollar matching is retroactive to March 17 and runs until June 30.

Mennonite Central Committee and the Canadian Foodgrains Bank both have global projects addressing hunger and famine, and both issued news releases applauding the federal government’s creation of the matching program.

Mennonite Central Committee is responding to famine and hunger in countries such as Chad, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Uganda with emergency food assistance, clean water and cash transfers as well as supporting malnutrition treatment centres, school feeding programs, and long-term nutrition and food security projects. This month, MCC distributed emergency humanitarian supplies in South Sudan’s Unity State, where the UN recently declared a famine.

Through its members, including MCC, the Canadian Foodgrains Bank has provided more than $2.5 million worth of assistance to more than 72,000 people in Nigeria, Somalia and South Sudan since January. Donations to the Foodgrains Bank that are designated to these crises are also eligible to be matched on a four-to-one basis through its regular ongoing grant agreement with the Canadian government.

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