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UNICEF Canada Welcomes Continued Canadian Commitment to the Horn of Africa

2011-12-22

Toronto, December 22, 2011 - UNICEF Canada welcomes the Honorable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation’s announcement that Canada will provide an additional $10 million to support UNICEF’s on-going response to the humanitarian crisis in the Horn of Africa.

The funds will be used to provide urgent lifesaving support to approximately 2 million people throughout the region, primarily drought- affected children and women. UNICEF will ensure access to clean water, nutritional support, and lifesaving vaccines, as well as access to temporary learning spaces for children.

“Thanks to an outpouring of support from Canadians once famine was declared in July, UNICEF has saved thousands of children’s lives,” says UNICEF Canada’s President and CEO David Morley. “But due to the magnitude of this crisis we need to continue to scale up our response. These funds from the government of Canada will be critical to reaching even more vulnerable children.” 

An estimated 13 million people continue to need humanitarian assistance in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia. Malnutrition rates remain at alarming levels throughout the region, and, in Somalia, an estimated 250,000 children continue to face starvation in three regions affected by famine. An estimated 1.5 million people have been displaced within Somalia by the drought and conflict, and more than 840,000 Somalis are now living as refugees in Ethiopia and Kenya.

UNICEF is continuing to raise funds to support efforts in the Horn of Africa in 2012. Canadians can support this work by donating online at www.unicef.ca/hornofafrica or calling 1 800 567-4483.

About UNICEF
UNICEF is the world's leading child-focused humanitarian and development agency. Through innovative programs and advocacy work, we save children's lives and secure their rights in virtually every country. Our global reach, unparalleled influence on policymakers, and diverse partnerships make us an instrumental force in shaping a world in which no child dies of a preventable cause. UNICEF is entirely supported by voluntary donations and helps all children, regardless of race, religion or politics. For more information about UNICEF, please visit www.unicef.ca.

For further information:

Stefanie Carmichael, Communications Specialist, (416) 482-6552 ext. 8866; Cell: (647) 500-4230, scarmichael@unicef.ca.
Tiffany Baggetta, Director, Communications and Brand, (416) 482-6552 ext. 8892; Cell: (647) 308-4806, tbaggetta@unicef.ca.