Unifor donates to Oxfam Canada South Sudan famine relief

TORONTO, May 10, 2017 /CNW/ - Unifor is proud to partner with Oxfam Canada to help provide famine relief in South Sudan and other countries facing a food crisis in the region, with a $100,000 donation from the Unifor Social Justice Fund.

"Roughly five million people are struggling to survive the hunger crisis in South Sudan and immediate funds are needed to save lives, end the famine and stop it from spreading," said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. "This donation is about international solidarity and our union is proud to offer support for life-saving aid to those who so desperately need it – it's the right thing to do."

"The South Sudanese are some of the most resilient people in the world but three years of conflict have pushed them to the breaking point," said Julie Delahanty, Executive Director of Oxfam Canada. "Harvests have repeatedly failed as people are driven from their lands or left too fearful to tend to them. Unifor's generous support will allow us to reach many more families with food, clean water and sanitation, and ensure that the needs of women and children – often the most at risk – are taken into account when setting up these essential services."

The Unifor Social Justice Fund is a registered charity, maintained by contributions from Unifor employers negotiated during collective bargaining. "Social justice is one of Unifor's core beliefs, and through the Social Justice Fund the union is able to translate that belief into action to help marginalized people around the world," said Mohamad Alsadi, Unifor Director, Human Rights and International Department. "We have a moral responsibility to do whatever we can to support the families of this famine, who in many cases have only the clothes on their backs."

Delahanty added: "Unifor has a long history of stepping up to help humanitarian agencies like Oxfam Canada respond to crises, and their support for South Sudan comes at a critical moment. With the coming rains likely to cut off access to those worst affected, aid agencies are in a race against time to provide life-saving aid before the hunger season peaks in July." 

Unifor encourages individuals and other labour organizations to join in the fight to end hunger.  Donations by members and Unifor Locals to Oxfam Canada can be made at oxfam.ca/unifor. For more information on the Unifor Social Justice Fund visit unifor.org/sjf

Oxfam Canada is part of a global movement for change made up of 19 Oxfam affiliate organizations working in more than 90 countries to mobilize the power of people against poverty. Around the world and around the clock, Oxfam is present to help those most vulnerable survive catastrophic events.

Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing more than 310,000 workers in every sector of the economy.  It was formed Labour Day weekend 2013 when the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers unions merged.


For further information: please contact (Oxfam contact) or Unifor Communications Representative Kathleen O'Keefe at kathleen.okeefe@unifor.org or 416-896-3303 (cell).

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