Minister Bibeau launches Famine Relief Fund to respond to multiple food crises

News Release

May 29, 2017 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

More than 20 million people in northeast Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen are at risk of starvation as a result of severe drought and conflict. South Sudan is experiencing famine, and unless immediate action is taken, others could slide into a similar situation. This is an unprecedented situation.

The Government of Canada is responding to this crisis and will also help Canadians mobilize their own response to a global appeal through the creation of the Famine Relief Fund.

Today, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, announced that for every eligible donation made by individual Canadians to registered Canadian charities between March 17 and June 30, 2017, the Government of Canada will contribute an equivalent amount to the Famine Relief Fund.  

Hunger is having a real impact on young children in particular as some 1.4 million are now at risk of dying of acute malnutrition and disease. Millions across the four affected countries and the neighbouring regions are in need of basic necessities such as urgent food assistance, water, sanitation services, health care, and shelter.

The Fund will support Canadian and international organizations currently hard at work providing assistance to those in need in the affected countries and neighbouring regions. 


“Over 20 million men, women and children are at risk of starvation if we do not act now. Canadians have always demonstrated great compassion when it comes to humanitarian crises. I encourage all Canadians to donate to the registered Canadian charities of their choice. Together, we can make a difference and bring relief to people who need urgent help.”

- Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie

Quick Facts

  • On March 17, 2017, Canada announced $119.25 million in humanitarian funding to respond to food crises in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen. Canada was one of the earliest major donors to provide funds for the four affected countries.

  • On February 22, 2017, António Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General, called on the international community to take decisive action to avert further catastrophe in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen. 

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Marie-Emmanuelle Cadieux
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of International Development and La Francophonie

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