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Federal matching fund established to help raise donations for relief in Sahel region of West Africa

Federal matching fund established to help raise donations for relief in Sahel region of West Africa

August 7, 2012

August 7, 2012—The Humanitarian Coalition today welcomes the Government of Canada’s decision to match Canadian donations to support hunger and refugee relief efforts in the Sahel region of West Africa for eight weeks.  All donations to the Humanitarian Coalition and other specified relief agencies between August 7 and September 30 will be matched by a federal government fund of equal size.

More than 18 million people, including one million children, are facing hunger in Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali, Chad, Mauritania, Senegal and The Gambia.  This matching fund from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) will help raise the profile of this urgent crisis and will help save more lives by ensuring more resources are available for humanitarian assistance.

The Humanitarian Coalition has been raising funds for relief efforts since June 14th. Humanitarian Coalition member agencies – CARE Canada, Oxfam Canada, Oxfam-Québec, Plan Canada and Save the Children – have been working in countries across the Sahel for decades. With Canadians’ generous donations, they have been able to scale up their operations and reach more people in severely affected, often remote, communities.

To make a quick and secure donation, please go to

Response from our member agencies:

CARE Canada: Kevin McCort, President and CEO

“I recently returned from Chad where I saw first-hand the window of opportunity to do truly effective development work in the Sahel region. Thanks to the Government of Canada’s commitment to matching Canadian donations, we can expand our efforts to provide clean water, sanitation and hygiene education, nutrition and other life-saving programs in the region.”

Oxfam Canada: Robert Fox, Executive Director

“CIDA’s matching fund for the Sahel is welcome news. It will help ensure not only immediate life-saving assistance but also crucial investments in farming and herding so people can rebuild their lives despite adversity. With Canadians’ generous donations and the government match, we can do our part to break the cycle of hunger in the Sahel.”

Plan Canada: Rosemary McCarney, President and CEO

“The Sahel food and refugee crisis is not without hope; we can still save lives right now. The match  announced by the Canadian Government today, coupled with the continued compassion and generosity of Canadians, means we’ll be able to feed more families, provide more clean water and other health services to stem cholera, as well as provide more children with trauma therapy and safe places to learn and play while their world shifts around them. It will also bolster our efforts in working with communities to build longer-term solutions and recovery to crises like these.”

Save the Children Canada: Patricia Erb, President and CEO

“On my recent trip to Burkina Faso I visited an emergency nutrition centre at the Kaya District Hospital where severely malnourished children are being brought back to life with intervention supported by Save the Children. I also visited a Mali refugee camp where families escaping the violence in their country are worried about nutrition as well as schooling and protection for their children. I know that if Canadians could see what I saw they would want to help and CIDA’s matching program will bring attention to this crisis.”

The HUMANITARIAN COALITION is comprised of CARE Canada, Oxfam Canada, Oxfam-Québec, Plan Canada and Save the Children. With a combined presence in more than 120 countries, we bring together Canada's leading aid agencies to finance relief efforts in times of international humanitarian crises. We work together to reduce administrative costs by uniting to raise funds and inform the public on humanitarian needs. 

Find out more about Oxfam's response to the Sahel.

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