Support for Community Organizations Helping Canadians

News release

May 16, 2020                            Gatineau, Quebec                  Employment and Social Development Canada

Canadian charities and non-profit organizations are on the frontlines. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for their services is now greater than ever before and they are doing more with fewer donations and fewer volunteers.

Today, the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, announced that charities and non-profit organizations requiring financial assistance to address  the pandemic, can apply for funding as of May 19, 2020.

The Government of Canada is pleased to work with the United Way Centraide Canada, the Canadian Red Cross and the Community Foundations of Canada to disburse the $350 million Emergency Community Support Fund. These trusted partners will each post information on eligibility criteria and how to apply on their respective websites.

Community-based organizations from across the country will be able to apply for funding to support a variety of activities, such as:

  • increasing volunteer-based home deliveries of groceries and medications;
  • providing transportation services, like accompanying or driving seniors or persons with disabilities to appointments;
  • scaling up help lines that provide information and support;
  • providing training, supplies and other required supports to volunteers so they can continue to make their invaluable contributions to the COVID-19 response; and
  • replacing in-person, one-on-one contact and social gatherings with virtual contact through phone calls, texts, teleconferences or the Internet.

Minister Hussen also announced that the Government of Canada is moving forward in investing $25 million over five years to provide assistance to Black community organizations. As part of this additional investment, grassroots organizations will be able to apply for grants of up to $100,000 in late spring to build the necessary capacity and infrastructure they need to better serve Black Canadian communities. This is another step forward in the government’s commitment to the United Nations International Decade for People of African Descent.

The federal government will also work with Tropicana Community Services, the Black Business Initiative, and Le Groupe 3737 to disburse investments. Once fully established as intermediaries, these organizations will launch their own funding calls seeking proposals from grassroots organizations from across Canada for organizational capacity building projects before the end of 2020.


“Canadian charities and not for profits are always there to help you, in your time of need. But the COVID-19 pandemic is bringing real challenges to these important organizations.  With today’s announcement, the Government of Canada will be there for them so they can continue to be there for Canadians.”
– The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development

“Today’s announcement is a direct result of the strong advocacy and sustained activism of the leadership of the Black and African Canadian communities across Canada. These investments will support new capital resources, research capacity and the creation of a new sustainable and engaged relationship between the diverse and dynamic people of African descent in Canada and the Federal Government. Today’s announcement is a brilliant way to recognize the UN International Decade for People of African Descent now and for years to come.”
– Adam Vaughan, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development

Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada announced a $350 million Emergency Community Support Fund to help charities and non-profit organizations adapt frontline services for vulnerable Canadians during COVID-19.

  • As part of its commitment to the UN International Decade for People of African Descent, the Government of Canada is investing up to $25 million over five years to provide assistance to Black community organizations.

  • COVID-19 is having a disproportionate impact on vulnerable populations who may struggle more to deal with the health, social, and economic impacts of the pandemic. Risks of stress, hardship, and abuse are expected to rise as people become unable to access the social and community supports they rely on in their everyday lives.

  • The Emergency Community Support Fund will provide funding to national intermediaries with networks across the country, including United Way Canada, the Canadian Red Cross, and the Community Foundations of Canada.

  • These partners will disburse funds to local community-based organizations working with vulnerable populations, including seniors, persons with disabilities, members of LGBTQ2 communities, veterans, newcomers, women, children and youth, and members of Indigenous communities and racialized communities, such as Black Canadians.

  • The federal government will also work with the Network for the Advancement of Black Communities. The Network will act as an expert service provider to the intermediaries and play a role in strengthening governance, service coordination, capacity building and systems change.

Associated links


For media enquiries, please contact:

Jessica Eritou
Communications Assistant
Office of the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Families, Children and Social Development

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
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