CALGARY, Sept. 7, 2011 /CNW/ - Members of Canada's Somali diaspora are
launching an urgent appeal to help their families struggling to cope
with famine in their homeland.
"Our families are running out of time," says Asha Jama, a member of the
diaspora who lives in Calgary. "Our loved ones are caught in the middle
of this humanitarian tragedy and the misery of famine is spreading to
many parts of northern Somalia."
The appeal comes on the heels of the most recent United Nations report
declaring a sixth area of famine in Somalia, along with warnings that
750,000 Somalis could die in the next few months unless aid efforts
"We are asking members from all different Somali groups across Canada to
raise as much money as possible before the Government of Canada's
donation matching deadline of Sept. 16," says Jama.
Population estimates for the Somali diaspora in Canada are as high as
200,000 residents with the largest settlements living in Calgary,
Edmonton and Toronto. Funds raised through this community initiative
will be donated to World Vision, a child-focused aid agency that has
worked in Somalia since 1992. The agency is currently providing drought
relief throughout the Horn of Africa, including the northern Somali
regions of Puntland and Somaliland, and in refugee camps along
Somalia's borders. World Vision's emergency response is operating in
tandem with its long-term development activities such as agricultural
support for farmers and veterinary care for livestock.
"So far Canadians have pledged more than $8.5 million for the entire
Horn of Africa," says Dave Toycen, president and CEO, World Vision
Canada. "We are very grateful for the generosity that Canadians are
continuing to show from coast to coast."
World Vision is a Christian relief, development and advocacy
organization dedicated to working with children, families and
communities to overcome poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all
people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. Visit our
News Centre at worldvision.ca
SOURCE World Vision Canada
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