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UNICEF Canada Welcomes Government of Canada Commitment and Support of the Horn of Africa Humanitarian Crisis Response

2011-07-22

TORONTO, July 22, 2011 - UNICEF Canada welcomes the announcement today by The Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation, that the Government of Canada will provide an additional $50 million and is establishing the East Africa Drought Relief Fund to assist those affected by the crisis in the Horn of Africa, where the UN has declared that famine exists in two regions of southern Somalia.
 
"UNICEF Canada is pleased with the action taken by the Government of Canada to increase their assistance to those who are affected by the crisis in the Horn of Africa," said David Morley, UNICEF Canada President and CEO. "Children in the Horn of Africa are the most vulnerable and are facing a triple shock caused by prolonged drought, soaring food prices and the impact of the conflict in Somalia. These funds come at a critical time and will make a dramatic difference in saving the lives of those affected by this emergency," adds Morley.

With famine now declared in two regions of Southern Somalia and malnutrition rates at emergency levels in arid and semi-arid regions across the Horn of Africa, almost 720,000 children are at risk of death without urgent assistance. In total 2.23 million children in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia are estimated to be acutely malnourished.  UNICEF is scaling up its response to deliver unprecedented supplies of therapeutic and supplementary foods across the Horn as well as water and medical supplies. .

UNICEF Canada also appreciates the generous donations by Canadians to date, but more is needed. UNICEF estimates it will need USD$100 million over the next six months for a massive scale up of operations to reach children in the drought affected areas with emergency and preventative assistance.

Canadians can support UNICEF's emergency efforts in the Horn of Africa by donating online at www.unicef.ca/hornofafrica or calling 1 800 567-4483.

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Note to editors: Photos and b-roll of the humanitarian emergency in the Horn of Africa available upon request.  



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.