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Canada gives $119m to fight hunger in Africa

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Somali Islamists are letting civilians in drought-hit regions under their control move with relative freedom to find food, the group and a UN official have said. PHOTO | FILE

A Somali civilian in a drought-hit region searching for food. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By MOHAMMED MOMOH in Abuja

Posted  Sunday, March 19   2017 at  14:51

Canada will provide $119.25 million humanitarian crises response to Nigeria, South Sudan, Somalia and Yemen.

The Global Affairs Canada spokesperson, Ms Brittany Venhola-Fletcher, made the announcement in Abuja on Saturday, quoting the Canadian Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship minister, Mr Ahmed Hussen.

Global Affairs Canada manages the country’s diplomatic and consular relations, promotes its international trade and leads Canada’s international development and humanitarian assistance.

Displaced populations

“It is estimated that in the three most impacted states of the northeast (Nigeria), 8.5 million people will require humanitarian assistance in 2017, of which 5.1 million are severely food insecure," said Ms Venhola-Fletcher.

“Assistance for basic survival and protection is vital for displaced populations, host communities and vulnerable people across the northeast.”

She said $21 million would go to Somalia, $36.9 million to South Sudan and $34 million to Yemen.

Women and children

The funding, Ms Venhola-Fletcher added, would help provide assistance to crisis-affected people, taking into account the specific needs of women and children.

“It will include the provision of food and nutrition, healthcare services, clean water and sanitation facilities, and livelihoods support."

Mr Hussen was further quoted saying the Canadian government would work with “trusted humanitarian partners that will make sure that the aid gets there quickly and goes to support the most vulnerable people”.

The Red Cross

Partners receiving the humanitarian funding include the International Committee of the Red Cross ($17.8 million, the International Organisation for Migration ($5 million), and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs ($1.45 million).

Others include the UN Population Fund ($3 million dollars), UNHCR ($4.15 million), Unicef ($9.6 million) and the World Food Programme ($42 million).

The Canadian government urged all recipient states to provide safe and immediate access for humanitarian workers and “allow them to do their work”.