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Canada Providing Further Humanitarian Assistance to Somalis
Wall Street Journal
Wednesday, May 15, 2013

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Millions of Somalis are living in crisis due to prolonged conflict and widespread food insecurity, resulting in acute malnutrition and displacement. Today, following a townhall held to discuss the current challenges in Somalia, Ted Opitz, Member of Parliament for Etobicoke Centre, announced on behalf of the Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of International Cooperation, further life-saving assistance in response to humanitarian appeals for the people of Somalia.

"Somalia remains a country in extreme humanitarian crisis," said Mr. Opitz. "We are ensuring that life-saving humanitarian assistance, including food, water and shelter, is there for the most vulnerable people to help stave off the effects of food insecurity and conflict."

More than one million people in Somalia require immediate humanitarian assistance, and as many as 1.7 million more remain on the brink of crisis, with all reserves depleted and vulnerable to the slightest shock. Malnutrition rates in many areas of the country remain above the 15 per cent emergency threshold. Over 70 percent of the population is without reliable access to safe water. In addition, more than one million Somalis remain internally displaced, and as many as one million more have sought refuge in neighbouring countries.

"Canada is ensuring that Somalis affected by this crisis receive the emergency support they need," said Minister Fantino. "Canada is responding quickly to this crisis and will continue to monitor the situation closely."

Today's announcement follows Mr. Opitz's participation at the Conference on Somalia in London, U.K. on May 7, 2013 where he reiterated Canada's ongoing commitment to helping the most vulnerable people in Somalia, as well as of Somali refugees in Kenya.

Canada provides humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable people facing natural disasters and conflict. Economic Action Plan 2013 affirms Canada's commitment to providing humanitarian assistance. The new Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development will also maintain the mandate of poverty alleviation and will help Canada achieve greater efficiency, accountability, and focus to continue to improve the lives of people in need around the world.


Each year, Canada responds to the annual appeals issued by international and Canadian humanitarian agencies. These annual appeals outline the planned response to a variety of humanitarian crises due to conflict or food insecurity around the world. Such crises result from prolonged hunger, conflict, insecurity and the breakdown of civil order and they affect huge numbers of people, cause extensive human suffering, and are extremely difficult to resolve.

As outlined below, in response to the 2013 appeals for Somalia and Kenya, Canada is providing over $32 million in humanitarian assistance in response to humanitarian needs both inside Somalia as well as for Somali refugees residing in Kenya. This includes the $3.25 million which Mr. Opitz previously announced at the Conference on Somalia on May 7, 2013 in London, U.K.

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