Emergency Food Crisis

by Oxfam Canada | March 24, 2017
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For every eligible donation made by individual Canadians to registered Canadian charities between March 17th and June 30th, 2017, the Government of Canada will contribute an equivalent amount to their own Famine Relief Fund.

This fund will support Canadian and international organizations currently hard at work helping those in need in the affected countries and neighbouring regions. Understand how this fund works.

This is the largest hunger emergency in the world. While there are differences between each of these crises, we know that each situation will get worse in the coming months unless urgent help is delivered to those at risk.

This is a crisis we cannot ignore. Worsening hunger and the spread of famine are imminent, but not yet inevitable. We can still stop the spread of famine and prevent a catastrophic loss of life if we act now.

South Sudan

In South Sudan 100,000 people are already experiencing famine, while around 7.5 million more are in need of emergency assistance across the country. With harvests still months away and the coming rainy season likely to cut off access to those worst affected, half the country is expected to suffer from extreme hunger by July 2017.

Horn of Africa

Across the Horn of Africa 18.1 million people are in need of emergency food and water due to severe drought across Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya. In Somalia, already serious food insecurity could tip into famine if the April-June rains fail and people do not receive humanitarian support.


In Yemen, almost two-thirds of the population are hungry, with more than 7 million of these people at the point of starvation and don’t know where their next meal is coming from. More than 46,000 people have been killed or injured since the escalation of the conflict in March 2015.

How is Oxfam responding?

Oxfam is on the ground in all four areas, reaching the most affected with the emergency help they need to survive. We are:

  • Working with local partner organizations who provide emergency food distributions and work with vulnerable people to produce their own food and other income.
  • Providing emergency water and sanitation, to stop the spread of diseases like cholera and diarrhea.
  • Providing cash and vouchers so people can purchase the food they need to survive
  • Trucking in urgently needed water to the worst drought affected areas
  • Constructing showers and toilets for those who have been forced to flee their homes

We can stop the worst from happening. You can save lives by supporting Oxfam’s work providing emergency help to those who need it most.

Canadians can join the Humanitarian Coalition and its members in fighting famine at www.humanitariancoalition.ca and www.oxfam.ca.

The Humanitarian Coalition is Canada’s only joint appeal mechanism for international disasters and emergencies. It is made up of seven leading humanitarian agencies: Canadian Lutheran World Relief, CARE Canada, Islamic Relief Canada, Oxfam Canada, Oxfam-Québec, Plan International Canada and Save the Children Canada. Collectively, they are present in 150 countries. Together, saving more lives.

To learn more about how the Government of Canada's Famine Relief Fund works, we encourage you to visit their website.

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