KRIS SIMS Parliamentary Bureau Canadians are opening their hearts and their bank accounts to help save people from starving to death in Somalia. Since the urgency of the situation came to light in July, major relief organizations have raised approximately $16 million. The government of Canada is matching all donations, which doubles the amount raised to about $32 million. “This is a slow-onset disaster — it isn’t like an earthquake or tsunami — and it’s summer, so it isn’t always front of mind. Despite that, Canadians have been very generous,” says Nicholas Moyer, executive director for the Humanitarian Coalition, which includes Save the Children, Oxfam and Plan Canada. Moyer says despite reports that rebel groups are blocking aid, there are established groups that are able to help the skeletal children and their emaciated parents. “Our charities have been on the ground in these afflicted places for decades. There is no risk that the funds and aid will not get to them. We are in the hardest to reach regions of Somalia already, the work is being done — all we need are the donations.” Twelve million people are being crushed by a famine made even more fierce by the worst drought in 60 years. The suffering is compounded by the constant violence and strife in the region. The United Nations estimates 30,000 people have died, and many more are at risk. More than half the children in Somalia are malnourished, and one in three could die. Money raised will provide food, water, shelter and medicine. The government of Canada has pledged $72 million in support funding for the region this year, apart from the current fundraising drive.

The face of


• • (includes: Care, Oxfam, Save the Children, Plan) • •

Donation sites

$1.4B is needed
to deal with the crisis

Adam Ibrahim, a severely malnourished five-year-old boy, inside a makeshift tent at Badbado camp south of capital Mogadishu.

A woman feeds her droughtstricken cattle with dried corn leaves in Mogadishu.

A newly arrived Somali refugee child receives a polio drop at the Ifo extension refugee camp in Kenya’s Dadaab. Aid agencies vaccinate refugees against polio and measles.


An internally displaced Somali family gather in front of their makeshift shelter in south Mogadishu in Hodan district.
• Low precipitation has caused the worst drought in 60 years. • Unable to feed livestock, 60%-90% of cattle are already dead in some areas.


The Ifo extension refugee camp in Dadaab, near the Kenya-Somalia border.

• The impacts of drought have been exacerbated by the crisis of food and fuel. • FAO and the World Food Program have sounded the alarm since last fall.


$60M U.S. U.K. Saudi Arabia

Americans are donating the most to help ease the suffering, with Britain coming in second. Saudi Arabia is the largest Muslim donor.

• Borders remain largely closed to foreign organizations. •The long-running conflict in Somalia has made it difficult and dangerous for aid agencies to operate inside the country, complicating the crisis. Fourteen relief workers with the UN World Food Program have died there since 2008.



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