Canada announces $58.1 million in new humanitarian assistance funding for Horn of Africa

News release

May 24, 2023 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

The Horn of Africa is facing a climate emergency that shows no sign of ending. Having had below-average rainfall for more than 2 years, the region is experiencing its worst drought ever recorded. Even in areas where rain has recently fallen, the ground is too dry to absorb it, leading to devastating flash floods.

Canada is extremely concerned by the impact of the drought on vulnerable populations, who are already struggling as a result of conflict, insecurity and the COVID-19 pandemic. Current assessments indicate that at least 43 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance throughout Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia.

Today, the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada, announced $58.1 million in funding for gender-responsive humanitarian assistance to meet the needs of people in Ethiopia and Somalia, bringing Canada’s total 2023 humanitarian assistance funding for the Horn of Africa to over $98 million.

The funding announced today will be provided to UN agencies, the International Committee of the Red Cross and other non-governmental organizations to help provide the most vulnerable with food, nutrition and other critical life-saving assistance, such as health care, safe water and sanitation, and protection services. Canada’s funding will also support the overall coordination and logistics of the humanitarian response in both Ethiopia and Somalia.


“The deteriorating situation caused by climate change and other factors has created catastrophic conditions for millions of people in the Horn of Africa. With this latest humanitarian support, Canada is helping its partners to meet the urgent needs of some of the most vulnerable people in the world.”

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

Quick facts

  • Today, Canada participated in a high-level pledging event on the humanitarian response in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia. The focus of the conference was on addressing the root causes and exploring long-term solutions.

  • With today’s announcement, Canada has now allocated $52.3 million in humanitarian assistance funding for Ethiopia, $38 million in humanitarian assistance funding for Somalia and $8.5 million for Kenya so far in 2023.

  • The Horn of Africa has faced more than 2 years of inadequate rainfall since late 2020, leading to lost crops, millions of livestock deaths and increased malnutrition and disease. Early 2023 marked an unprecedented sixth consecutive failed rainy season. This historic drought will continue to have a devastating impact on vulnerable pastoralist and agro-pastoralist populations in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia, particularly on women and other marginalized groups.

Associated links


Haley Hodgson
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of International Development

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
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