(Ottawa) – Oxfam Canada will provide urgently needed water access, livestock protection, sanitation and emergency cash for food in East Africa with $3.75 million provided by the Canadian International Development Agency today.
Robert Fox, Executive Director of Oxfam Canada, is available for interviews from the region to provide first-hand accounts of how generous donations from Canadians are saving lives in regions crippled by drought and rising food and fuel prices.
While Oxfam is assisting hundreds of thousands of people who have migrated to camps in search of survival assistance, the CIDA funds announced today are allocated to three new Oxfam Canada programs in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia targeted to help people survive in their communities. These are six-month emergency programs as the crisis hits a critical stage.
Fox has visted the Dolo Ado refugee camp in Ethiopia near the Somali border and will visit the Dadaab refugee camps in northern Kenya this week. Oxfam delivered 40 tonnes of water and sanitation materials a few days ago to the Dolo Ado camp.
"Women and children in the camps have been through so much suffering and struggle and they’re deeply grateful for the support they are receiving from Canadians – the water, sanitation, food and protection," Fox said.
"Equally urgent is our support to the communities in Ethiopia and Kenya that are facing the same pressures of drought and hunger and to those in Somalia who in many cases don’t have the strength to start the dangerous trek to seek refuge. We thank the Canadian government for its welcome support to our efforts to save lives and encourage it to continue to take a lead role among donors as the situation grows more grave."
Oxfam strives to ensure that women’s needs are addressed in its humanitarian programs. Given that a disproportionately high number of people displaced from their communities are women, project staff will make a particular effort to ensure women are involved in decision-making bodies and hire female cash monitors and enumerators when implementing the programs.
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Note to Editors:
Summary of how Oxfam Canada will allocate the new CIDA funds:
- Kenya. $1.3 million is for a voucher and retail trader system to help families in more than 6,500 households in the Wajir District of northern Kenya pay for basic food needs, reducing the need for people to migrate long distances for assistance and enabling children to remain in school. Lack of rain, poor harvests, widespread death and weakening of livestock and increased food prices threaten the local population of more than 39,000 in an area which is not targeted by international food aid from the World Food Program. This Oxfam Canada program will relieve economic stress during the emergency. Oxfam Canada and Oxfam Great Britain will implement the program with local partners the Wajir South Development Association and Arid Lands Development Focus.
- Ethiopia. $1.25 million is for improving access to safe water supplies, promoting health, protecting livestock and providing cash for work. The projects are targeted at alleviating the suffering of the most vulnerable people – women, children and the elderly—in six zones of the hard-hit Somali and Oromiya regions of Ethiopia. The people in these zones are suffering water shortages, food scarcity and depletion of livestock. The program will reach at least 199,000 people in more than 33,000 households. Beneficiaries will be selected in coordination with community committees, local authorities, the ministry of agriculture and other international agencies.
- Somalia. $1.2 million for a life-saving cash transfer program to help 3,435 households meet their basic food and sanitation needs. Most of the more than 25,700 people who will benefit are women and children in urban areas in and around the capital, Mogadishu, many of them displaced from regions struck by drought and conflict.
About the HUMANITARIAN COALITION:With a combined presence in over 120 countries, the joint efforts by the members of the HUMANITARIAN COALITION provide a widespread and effective response to emergencies. The group has one phone number and a joint website for online donations in order to make donating easy for Canadians.
To donate to THE HUMANITARIAN COALITION, call us toll-free at 1-800-464-9154, log onto our website at www.together.ca or send donations to HUMANITARIAN COALITION, P.O. Box 7023, Ottawa, ON, K1L 5A0.