News Release: Crisis in East Africa

AS MORE PEOPLE ARE AFFECTED BY THE CRISIS IN EAST AFRICA, HUMANITARIAN COALITION URGES CANADIANS TO RESPOND

together.ca

OTTAWA, Sept. 14, 2011 /CNW/ - 13.3 million people are now affected by the crisis in East Africa, according to the

United Nations. Providing timely and effective assistance is of utmost importance with the disaster reaching catastrophic levels. As the federal government's donation match period comes to a close on September 16, the HUMANITARIAN COALITION urges Canadians to take advantage of the opportunity to have their generosity matched, ensuring that their gift does double the work on the ground.

The HUMANITARIAN COALITION members - CARE Canada, Oxfam Canada, Oxfam-Québec, Plan Canada and Save the Children Canada - will continue to base their emergency responses in East Africa on meeting the most urgent needs of survivors. Emergency programs include the delivery of safe drinking water, food, shelter materials and hygiene kits.

"Having just returned from Kenya, I can assure Canadians that they can be confident their donations are being put to immediate and effective use by all members of the Humanitarian Coalition," said Kevin McCort, President and CEO of CARE Canada.  "We will continue to safeguard your donations despite the enormous challenges we face."

"I have witnessed, firsthand, the impact of our life saving efforts," said Robert Fox, Executive Director of Oxfam Canada. "The need continues to be great but, by acting quickly and by giving generously, Canadians are making a real difference."

"We are in critical emergency response mode now and help is needed urgently," said Rosemary McCarney, CEO of Plan Canada, from Ethiopia. "But recovery in East Africa will take well into 2012 and while we assist families in need now, we also continue our long-term risk reduction work for climate-dependent livelihoods. The continued support from Canadians means we can pursue immediate and long-term humanitarian responses to help people survive today and in the months to come."

"Just having come back from the Dadaab Refugee Camp, I have seen the need of the children," said Patricia Erb, President and CEO of Save the Children Canada. "Children arriving alone at the camp find food and water but also face the possibility of abuse and exploitation, which is why Save the Children is working to protect them through a foster parent system and safe Child Friendly Spaces".

The Canadian Teachers' Federation, a supporter of the HUMANITARIAN COALITION, has called upon its affiliate members and individual teachers to raise awareness of the crisis among students.

"The need for donations to East Africa is still great and heightened awareness is integral to continuing the momentum of the fundraising campaign," said Paul Taillefer, President of the Canadian Teachers' Federation. "I invite every Canadian teacher to help students understand this crisis and to provide the guidance necessary to help them become engaged global citizens."

Bell Canada has been an ongoing supporter of the HUMANITARIAN COALITION's global relief efforts through a number of in-kind contributions and, most recently, a $250,000 corporate donation to support the work of the HUMANITARIAN COALITION in East Africa. Bell Media has also supported the campaign with a multi-platform public service announcement campaign spanning all of its media properties, from television to radio to online.

By working together with one call centre and one donor website, HUMANITARIAN COALITION members can decrease the duplication of fundraising efforts so more Canadian donor dollars are spent where they are needed most.

About the HUMANITARIAN COALITION
With a combined presence in more than 120 countries, members of the HUMANITARIAN COALITION work together to reduce unnecessary competition, better educate the public on humanitarian needs, increase the impact of Canadian humanitarian responses and reduce administrative costs. Consisting of CARE Canada, Oxfam Canada, Oxfam-Québec, Plan Canada and Save the Children Canada, the HUMANITARIAN COALITION makes donating easy for Canadians.

To donate to the HUMANITARIAN COALITION, call 1-800-464-9154, log onto together.ca or send donations to THE HUMANITARIAN COALITION at P.O. Box 7023, Ottawa, ON, K1L 5A0.

SOURCE Humanitarian Coalition

For further information:

For interviews, please call: 

CARE Canada
Alison Frehlich
613-799-7562
media@care.ca
Oxfam Canada
Juliet O'Neill
613-240-3047  (cell)
juliet.oneill@oxfam.ca
Oxfam-Québec
Justine Lesage
514.513.0013 (cell)
LesageJ@oxfam.qc.ca
     
Plan Canada
Abigail Brown
647.971.3764
abrown@plancanada.ca
Save the Children
Cicely McWilliam
647-291-1683 (cell) 
cmcwilliam@savethechildren.ca

 

 


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