Canada responds to humanitarian crises with funding to the world’s most vulnerable

News release

May 18, 2020 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

In the face of rising humanitarian needs, now in the context of a global COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever for Canada to continue supporting its partners in carrying out their life-saving work around the world to help those in communities affected by conflict and suffering from acute food insecurity.

The Honourable Karina Gould, Minister of International Development, today announced that Canada is providing $306 million in response to the annual humanitarian appeals issued by UN humanitarian agencies, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and non-governmental organizations, including Canadian organizations, to support their 2020 operations around the world.

Canada’s support will help address the needs of millions of vulnerable people by providing food assistance; life-saving health care, including sexual and reproductive health and sexual and gender-based violence services; safe drinking water; sanitation and hygiene facilities; and shelter and protection services.

Canada’s humanitarian assistance is in line with its Feminist International Assistance Policy, which addresses the specific needs and priorities of people in vulnerable situations, particularly women and girls.


“It is now more vital than ever to support the most vulnerable people. We must respond to the health crisis caused by COVID-19, but we must also respond to other ongoing humanitarian crises. Millions of people are still counting on us to alleviate poverty, food insecurity, gender inequality and the violation of human rights and to protect youth. Together with its international partners, Canada is working tirelessly to respond to global crises and to save lives.”

- Karina Gould, Minister of International Development

Quick facts

  • In 2019, approximately 132 million people worldwide were identified as needing humanitarian assistance.

  • In 2020, before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, this number had increased to approximately 168 million, and it is expected to continue to grow as the impacts of the virus are increasingly seen.

Related products

Associated links


Guillaume Dumas
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of International Development

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
Follow us on Twitter: @CanadaDev
Like us on Facebook: Canada’s international development - Global Affairs Canada

Page details

Date modified: