Advertisement

Canada to provide nearly $120 million in aid for famine-hit countries

Click to play video: '20 million people in 4 countries facing starvation, famine: UN'
20 million people in 4 countries facing starvation, famine: UN
WATCH: More than 20 million people in Nigeria, south Sudan, Somalia and Yemen are going hungry. 1.4 million children are at imminent risk of death from malnutrition. The UN says it needs at least 4.4 billion dollars by the end of July to avert a catastrophe. Mike Le Couteur reports – Mar 11, 2017

OTTAWA – Canada will provide almost $120 million to help avert the prospect of starvation for 20 million people in Nigeria, South Sudan, Somalia and Yemen.

The pledge comes in response to a United Nations warning earlier this month that the desperate situation in the four countries represents the “largest humanitarian crisis” the world has faced since the end of the Second World War.

READ MORE: 20 million people in 4 countries facing starvation, famine: UN

The UN has said $4.4 billion in humanitarian aid is needed by July to avert disaster.

Canada’s contribution of $119.25 million, to be delivered through UN agencies and non-governmental humanitarian organizations, will go towards the provision of food, health care services, clean water and sanitation facilities, and support to protect people’s income-generating activities.

Story continues below advertisement

In particular, the aid is to be targeted at the most vulnerable, generally women and children.

“Severe food insecurity” in the region is the result of internal conflicts, which have displaced millions, and major drought in Somalia.

Breaking news from Canada and around the world sent to your email, as it happens.

In February, the UN declared a famine in parts of South Sudan.

READ MORE: Ravaged by war and famine, South Sudanese hide in swampland and eat weeds to survive 

Click to play video: 'Famine-hit South Sudanese eat weeds and water lilies to survive'
Famine-hit South Sudanese eat weeds and water lilies to survive

Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen, who announced the new humanitarian aid Friday, urged all factions in the conflicts to allow safe access for aid workers so that they can provide much-needed help to those at risk of starvation.

“The situation facing people is dire indeed,” Hussen said.

Story continues below advertisement

“Many have lost their homes as they flee from local conflicts. This leads to an itinerant life where families are on the run, without any of their usual supports.

“Forced to abandon their farms and livestock, people have lost the means of feeding their families. The same conflicts which drove them to leave everything behind are the same ones keeping humanitarian aid from reaching the very people who need it most.”

The new aid includes $27 million for Nigeria, $21 million for Somalia, $37 million for South Sudan and $34 million for Yemen.

By the numbers:

  • Canada will contribute $119.25 million: $27 million for Nigeria, $21 million for Somalia, $37 million for South Sudan and $34 million for Yemen.
  • An estimated 8.5 million Nigerians are in need of humanitarian assistance, 5.1 million of them facing severe food insecurity.
  • Roughly half the population of Somalia, more than six million people, require humanitarian assistance.
  • In February, the UN declared a famine in parts of South Sudan, affecting an estimated 100,000 people. Up to one million are at risk of starvation.
  • An estimated 10.3 million Yemenis require immediate life-saving assistance, according to aid organizations.

Sponsored content

AdChoices