OTTAWA, Canada – Harjit S. Sajjan, minister of international development and minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada, announced how Canada will address hunger, acute malnutrition and other critical concerns of crisis-affected populations to help prevent famine in the greater Horn of Africa region.
Minister Sajjan announced that $107 million in funding has been committed to the greater Horn of Africa region, including $25 million for Ethiopia, $11 million for Kenya, $26 million for Somalia, $25 million for South Sudan and $20 million for Sudan. This funding is part of the $250 million in funding, announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on June 23, 2022, to help address the global food-security crisis and will be provided to UN agencies and non-governmental organizations.
The Horn of Africa is experiencing its worst drought in more than 4 decades, and Canada is extremely concerned about the drought’s impact on vulnerable populations already struggling as a result of poverty, insecurity and the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2020 to 2022 drought has now surpassed the horrific droughts in 2010 to 2011 and 2016 to 2017 in both duration and severity and will continue to deepen in the months ahead. As many as 50 million people need emergency food assistance in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan and Sudan.
Minister Sajjan also announced that Canada will provide funding of $11.2 million over three years to the World Food Programme (WFP) for a school meal program that will provide daily nutritious meals to over 32,000 schoolchildren in food-insecure regions of Somalia and South Sudan. As part of this project, the WFP will also build community resilience by increasing the use of women-produced local crops for school meals.
“The deteriorating conditions caused by climate change and other factors has created a hunger crisis for millions of people in the greater Horn of Africa. Canada has proactively increased its humanitarian support to meet the growing needs, especially when it comes to supporting the most vulnerable. We will continue to work tirelessly with our partners to see how we can best provide relief and support the region’s efforts to avoid a catastrophic famine,” said minister Sajjan.