Steelworkers Humanity Fund contributes $10,000 to assist communities affected
by severe drought in Guatemala

TORONTO, Oct. 2 /CNW/ - United Steelworkers' (USW) National Director Ken Neumann has announced a contribution by the Steelworkers Humanity Fund of $10,000 to assist peasant communities in Guatemala facing starvation due to failure of their crops.

Neumann, who is also president of the Steelworkers Humanity Fund, said "The emergency aid will be channelled through the Steelworkers Humanity Fund long-term partner organization in Guatemala, Health and Community Development Organization Nuevo Amanecer (ASDENA). We are confident that ASDENA will insure the support effectively reaches the affected families."

Some 2.5 million people are affected by the worst drought to hit the country in 30 years. Thousands of peasant communities have lost up to 90% of their daily subsistence crops.

"ASDENA, which carries out projects in the affected areas, will be distributing family food baskets to the affected population. In the middle and longer term, it will develop a food security program that includes risk management and adapting the agricultural program to climate change," said Neumann.

Founded by the United Steelworkers union in 1985, the Steelworkers Humanity Fund is a registered charitable organization. Steelworker members contribute to the Fund through clauses negotiated into collective agreements, which most commonly provide for a contribution of $20 per-year, per-union member. In a number of important collective agreements matching contributions have been negotiated from employers.

The mandate of the Steelworkers Humanity Fund is to address issues of hunger and poverty, primarily in the developing world, through development assistance and emergency aid.

SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)

For further information: For further information: Ken Neumann, USW, (416) 487-1571, (416) 558-2510; Doug Olthuis, Humanity Fund, (416) 544-5957

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