September 21, 2009 11:47 ET

Canada Responds to World Food Programme's Appeal for Drought-Striken Countries in Sub-Saharan Africa

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 21, 2009) - The Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation, today announced that Canada will contribute $30 million to the World Food Programme to those affected by the drought in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Uganda.

"The drought in these countries has created a critical situation. Canada is responding to the urgent need to assist the World Food Programme to meet the food and nutrition needs in these countries", said Minister Oda. "Addressing food security needs in Africa and elsewhere is a top priority for our government."

World Food Programme operations in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Uganda are helping to meet the needs of approximately 17 million people, including internally displaced persons, refugees, returnees, women and children, whose food security is further threatened by severe drought conditions.

The World Food Programme stresses the importance of these operations in meeting the basic food needs of these populations. Extremely high malnutrition rates in excess of 20 percent are reported in areas of Sub-Saharan Africa affected by drought, reflecting the severity of the crisis.

Canada is currently the 3rd largest single country contributor to the World Food Programme and this year has doubled its aid to Africa over 2003-04 assistance contributions, a year earlier than its G8 commitment.



Four countries in Sub-Saharan Africa will benefit from Canada's $30 million contribution to the World Food Programme.

Ethiopia - $10 Million

Approximately 80 percent of Ethiopia's population of 77 million live in rural areas, where an estimated 50 per cent of the land is degraded, and more then 12.5 million people are affected by drought. Canada's contribution to the World Food Programme will help benefit more than
8 million hungry and malnourished Ethiopians, through the provision of food and nutritional support. These programs will reduce vulnerability and help food-insecure people to invest in more sustainable livelihoods.

Kenya - $10 Million

The failure of the short rains during the last quarter of 2008 has resulted in severe crop failure in the arid and semi-arid regions of Kenya, and has aggravated already existing drought conditions. Canada's contribution to the World Food Programme will help benefit close to 4 million vulnerable people, including Somali and Sudanese refugees in Kenya, through general food distribution, food-for-assets programming, emergency school feeding, supplementary feeding, and a mother and child health care program.

Somalia - $7 Million

Somalia is facing an unprecendented urban and rural food crisis, with food assistance needs increasing by 75 per cent since 2008. In Somalia, one in every six children is considered to be malnourished. Canada's contribution to the World Food Programme will benefit almost 4 million hungry and malnourished Somalis through general food distribution and emergency nutritional assistance. These efforts will help reduce acute malnutrition in children under 5, and improve food consumption for households and communities.

Uganda - $3 Million

The Karamoja region of north-eastern Uganda is facing a severe humanitarian crisis, following a drought that has reduced agricultural production to an estimated level of 30 percent. Global acute malnutrition rates in the region are bordering on emergency levels. Canada's contribution will help benefit almost one million critically food insecure people in north-eastern Uganda, through the provision of targeted food assistance and related WFP programming focused on reducing acute malnutrition.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of International Cooperation
    Jessica Fletcher
    Press Secretary
    Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
    Media Relations Office