The Canadian government has announced that it will match donations made by Canadians to eligible charities responding to the crisis in Sahel, a sub-Saharan region of West Africa where more than 18 million people are facing food shortages. Earlier, the Canadian government provided $47.5 million in humanitarian assistance to the Sahel.
The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) will match funds raised from August 7 to September 30, 2012 and will make its own initial $10 million contribution to the Sahel Crisis Matching Fund. Donations will be put towards food, emergency health care, sanitation and livelihood projects.
According to CIDA’s website, the situation in the Sahel has “deteriorated dramatically” due to drought, rising food prices and population displacement. The countries most affected include Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mauritania, Senegal, Gambia and Northern Cameroon.
The Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF), the relief and development agency of the Anglican Church of Canada, is responding to the crisis through the Canadian Foodgrains Bank (CFB). Established in 1983, CFB is a Christian organization that provides food and development aid on behalf of Canadian churches and groups, including PWRDF.
The Foodgrains Bank has committed $9.7 million to projects in Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso. These projects include the distribution of more than 10,000 tonnes of food.
Suzanne Rumsey, public engagement co-ordinator for PWRDF, urged Canadian Anglicans to respond generously. The Sahel crisis “is our crisis, too,” said Rumsey. She notes that most of Central and Eastern Canada is also experiencing drought conditions although “we’re in a better position to deal with it.”
Donations to the Sahel Crisis Matching Fund can be made in the following ways:
At the CanadaHelps website you can designate “Sahel Response.”
For credit card donations, contact PWRDF’s Jennifer Brown at 416-924-9192 ext. 355; 1-866-308-7973 (Don’t send your credit card number by email or fax.)
Please make cheques payable to “PWRDF,” and mark them “Sahel Response.” Send to The Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund, The Anglican Church of Canada, 80 Hayden St., Toronto, Ont. M4Y 3G2.