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UNICEF welcomes Canada's assistance in response to famine crisis

TORONTO, March 17, 2017 /CNW/ - UNICEF Canada has responded to today's announcement by Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Ahmed D. Hussen of $119.25 million in funding to help scale up the humanitarian response to the famine in South Sudan and ongoing food crisis in Nigeria, Somalia and Yemen. UNICEF Canada's President and CEO, David Morley, provided the following response:

"We are very pleased that Canada is taking action today to help provide urgent relief to the millions of children and families suffering from malnutrition and hunger in South Sudan as well as in Nigeria, Somalia and Yemen. UNICEF has been conducting massive relief operations in South Sudan since the conflict began, and is on the ground in all four countries, intensifying its response in the wake of the famine. But despite our best efforts, the current scale of the crisis is far outpacing the collective humanitarian response.

In South Sudan, where a famine has been declared, nearly 100,000 people are facing starvation and one million people are on the brink of famine, including more than a quarter of a million children. We have already seen warning signs of famine in the other three countries. Almost 1.4 million children are now at imminent risk of death from severe acute malnutrition in the affected countries.

We commend today's announcement from the Government of Canada as a welcome measure to help avert a total catastrophe in the four countries. The investment of $9.6 million for UNICEF will allow us to continue providing life-saving assistance to the most vulnerable children, including screening and treating for malnutrition, providing basic health services and vaccination, providing expertise and supplies for safe water and sanitation and supporting access to education.

The continued support of Canadians is making a difference in helping provide life-saving assistance where it's needed most." 

About UNICEF
UNICEF has saved more children's lives than any other humanitarian organization. We work tirelessly to help children and their families, doing whatever it takes to ensure children survive. We provide children with healthcare and immunization, clean water, nutrition and food security, education, emergency relief and more.

UNICEF is supported entirely by voluntary donations and helps children regardless of race, religion or politics. As part of the UN, we are active in over 190 countries - more than any other organization. Our determination and our reach are unparalleled. Because nowhere is too far to go to help a child survive. For more information about UNICEF, please visit www.unicef.ca.