Surrey, BC – Nina Grewal, MP (Fleetwood-Port Kells), on behalf of the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, today announced $5 million in humanitarian assistance to support the efforts of UNICEF in Somalia. The support will improve the health, well-being and protection of children, women and their families.
“In light of the continuing humanitarian crisis in Somalia, Canada is answering the call to provide additional help,” said MP Grewal. “Canada’s support to UNICEF will help ensure Somali families get what they need to survive, including access to safe water, treatment for malnutrition, and essential vaccinations for children.”
Maternal, newborn and child health is Canada’s top development priority. At the Saving Every Woman, Every Child Summit held in Toronto last May, Prime Minister Stephen Harper released the Toronto Statement, which reaffirmed global consensus on the way forward toward ending the preventable deaths of mothers, newborns and children under the age of five within a generation, and committed an additional $3.5 billion toward achieving that goal.
“Canada is committed to supporting our partners, like UNICEF, to provide life-saving assistance to extremely vulnerable families and individuals in Somalia,” said Minister Paradis. “Canada will continue to respond to the needs of people facing humanitarian crises in the developing world.”
“We welcome the Government of Canada’s generous support for the children, women and families of Somalia as we have a small but critical window to do what’s needed to prevent a repeat of the famine of 2011,” said David Morley, President and CEO of UNICEF Canada. “Somalia is at a crossroads with 50,000 children severely malnourished, including many at risk of death within weeks if they do not get the treatment they need.”
“After decades of conflict, insecurity and recurring drought, Somalia faces one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world. This funding is necessary to support UNICEF as they work to save the lives of Somali children with vaccines, treatments for malnutrition, and improved access to safe drinking water. We must not forget those who are victims of long-term violence; easing their living conditions will offer hope for the future,” concluded Mrs. Grewal.