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Canadian Government Creates Famine Relief Fund to Match Donations

STEFAN HEUNIS/AFP/Getty Images

Over 20 million people will be at the risk of starvation over the next six months, according to the United Nations. The Government of Canada is urging its citizens to help.

Today, Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie announced that for every eligible donation made by individual Canadians to registered Canadian charities between March 17 and June 30, 2017, the Government of Canada will contribute an equivalent amount to the Famine Relief Fund.

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“Canadians have always demonstrated great compassion when it comes to humanitarian crises. I encourage all Canadians to donate to the registered Canadian charities of their choice. Together, we can make a difference and bring relief to people who need urgent help,” says Minister Bibeau.

The estimated 20 million people reflects populations in northeast Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen who are at risk of starvation due to severe drought conditions or intensifying conflict.

Read More: Trump-Obsessed Media Is Ignoring a Massive Famine, WFP Chief Says

On March 17, 2017, Canada committed to $119.25 million in humanitarian funding as a response to the food crises in these countries.

The Famine Relief Fund aims to provide further assistance by supporting Canadian and international humanitarian organizations. These organizations include Action Against Hunger, UNICEF Canada, and World Vision Canada, among many others.

This announcement comes just days after the G7 Summit in Sicily, which Prime Minister Justin Trudeau attended. The outcome document of the Summit restated the global commitment to lift 500 million people in developing countries out of hunger and malnutrition by 2030, but no additional funds were pledged at the Summit and no details were released as to how exactly the leaders were going to do that.

Read More: G7 Leaders Fail to Deliver Their Hunger Commitment

The Government of Canada’s pledge to contribute to the Famine Relief Fund by matching individual donations is certainly a step in the right direction, though many could argue the G7 leaders still have a long way to go to meet their commitment to lifting 500 million people out of hunger and malnutrition.

The 2018 G7 Summit will take place in the Charlevoix region and it could be an important opportunity for G7 leaders to further discuss global issues.