Wall Street Journal
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
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
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.