Canada responds to hunger in greater Horn of Africa region

News release

December 1, 2022 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

The Horn of Africa is experiencing its worst drought in more than 4 decades, and Canada is extremely concerned about the drought’s impact on vulnerable populations already struggling as a result of poverty, insecurity and the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2020 to 2022 drought has now surpassed the horrific droughts in 2010 to 2011 and 2016 to 2017 in both duration and severity and will continue to deepen in the months ahead. As many as 50 million people need emergency food assistance in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan and Sudan.

Today, the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada, announced how Canada will address hunger, acute malnutrition and other critical concerns of crisis-affected populations to help prevent famine in the greater Horn of Africa region.

Minister Sajjan announced that $107 million in funding has been committed to the greater Horn of Africa region, including $25 million for Ethiopia, $11 million for Kenya, $26 million for Somalia, $25 million for South Sudan and $20 million for Sudan. This funding is part of the $250 million in funding, announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on June 23, 2022, to help address the global food-security crisis and will be provided to UN agencies and non-governmental organizations.

Minister Sajjan also announced that Canada will provide funding of $11.2 million over 3 years to the World Food Programme (WFP) for a school meal program that will provide daily nutritious meals to over 32,000 schoolchildren in food-insecure regions of Somalia and South Sudan. As part of this project, the WFP will also build community resilience by increasing the use of women-produced local crops for school meals.


“The deteriorating conditions caused by climate change and other factors has created a hunger crisis for millions of people in the greater Horn of Africa. Canada has proactively increased its humanitarian support to meet the growing needs, especially when it comes to supporting the most vulnerable. We will continue to work tirelessly with our partners to see how we can best provide relief and support the region’s efforts to avoid a catastrophic famine.”

- Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada

Quick facts

  • Russia’s invasion of Ukraine delivered a shock to an already strained global food system. Hunger is at an all-time high, and 50 million people in 46 countries are on the brink of famine. Populations in Ethiopia, South Sudan and Somalia are facing catastrophic conditions.

  • The Horn of Africa has faced 2 straight years of rainfall inadequate to its basic water, agricultural and livestock needs. Current predictions indicate these conditions will likely continue in 2023. The number of failed rainy seasons in the region is unprecedented and will continue to have a devastating impact on the population, particularly women and other marginalized groups, as it is heavily dependent on crops and livestock for food and livelihoods.

  • In 2021, Canada’s humanitarian assistance funding for Somalia totalled more than $30 million. In 2022, Canada’s humanitarian assistance for Somalia has reached $41.65 million, a recognition of the country’s increasing needs.

  • In 2021, Canada’s humanitarian assistance funding for Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan and Sudan totalled over $120 million. In 2022, it has reached over $165 million.

Associated links


Haley Hodgson
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of International Development

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
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