Canadian donations for Syrian relief efforts falls short

OTTAWA - The dollars are still being counted, but the amount of money donated by Canadians for overseas Syrian relief efforts will likely fall well short of the maximum $100 million the government had promised to match.

See Full Article

Monday marked the final day for Canadians to give money for Syrian aid in order to ensure those dollars were matched by the federal government.

Upwards of $16 million in donations had been received by Monday by UNICEF, World Vision and the Red Cross, but several other groups taking part have not released their figures.

The program, launched by the Conservatives, was set to close at the end of 2015 but the Liberals extended the deadline to raise more money.

At the time the government announced the extension, about $12 million had been raised since the program launched last September.

Since January 2012, Canada has committed $653.5 million in humanitarian assistance in response to the Syria crisis.

Previously, the government had only used matching funds in response to natural disasters.

In the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, the government matched $220 million in donations; the 2013 relief program for Typhoon Haiyan saw $85.6 million raised.

The Syrian fund was created by the Conservatives in response to a surge in Canadian demand to do more to help alleviate the massive humanitarian crisis caused by the nearly five-year old Syrian civil war.

Some estimates put the number of people killed in the war or forced the flee their homes at 11 million. Those who remain struggle for secure access to water, food and often times shelter.

Meanwhile, more than 4.7 million people have registered as refugees with the United Nations in countries in the region, while hundreds of thousands more have fled on their own to try and find safety in Europe.

Among them was the family of Alan Kurdi. The toddler drowned as his family fled; a photograph of his dead body on a Turkish beach captured the imagination of the world and made him a household name around the world.

Kurdi had relatives in Canada, which for many brought the crisis home.

Most international relief organizations had been fundraising for years to support humanitarian efforts inside Syria and in the surrounding countries, but the photograph prompted an increase in donations.

In 2013, the Humanitarian Coalition ran a three-month ad campaign for Syrian relief and netted $550,000. In the week after the photo appeared, they raised half that without making a single call.

UNICEF spokeswoman Tiffany Baggetta said donations to her organizations also spiked in September but then dipped for the rest of last year.

"We have seen an increase in donations to our Syrian crisis response through January and February - particularly in the last couple of weeks," she said in an email.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Stray bullet travels through window killing boy eating snack

    World News CTV News
    LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Police in Kentucky say a stray bullet fired during an outdoor fight travelled through the window of a nearby home, killing a 7-year-old who was eating a bedtime snack at his kitchen table. Source
  • Trump greeted with selfies and politics on arrival in Israel

    World News CTV News
    JERUSALEM -- U.S. President Donald Trump got an abrupt Israeli welcome on his arrival in Tel Aviv on Monday, with ministers asking favours and snapping selfies as they sought to get a piece of the commander in chief's attention. Source
  • UN envoy: All Syria parties agree to talks on constitution

    World News CTV News
    For the first time, all parties to Syria's conflict -- including the divided opposition -- have agreed to take part in expert talks to help lay the foundation for a new constitution, the UN special envoy for the country said Monday. Source
  • Iranian president calls U.S. relations 'a curvy road'

    World News CTV News
    TEHRAN, Iran -- Iran's newly re-elected President Hassan Rouhani on Monday called relations with the United States "a curvy road," saying he hoped the Trump administration will "settle down" enough for his nation to better understand it. Source
  • Boy, 14, drowns in Newfoundland pond after canoe overturns

    Canada News CTV News
    GANDER, N.L. -- A 14-year-old boy has drowned after a canoe was overturned in a pond in Newfoundland and Labrador. Police say three teens were canoeing in Vardy's Pond near Gander when the boat tipped over on Sunday afternoon. Source
  • Turkey slams U.S. over ‘aggressive’ acts against bodyguards

    World News Toronto Sun
    ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey summoned the U.S. ambassador on Monday to protest what it called “aggressive and unprofessional actions” by American security personnel against Turkish bodyguards in Washington during President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit last week. The action appeared to be in retaliation to calls in the U.S. Source
  • Leaked Facebook documents show types of content it allows, says report

    World News CBC News
    Leaked Facebook documents show how the social media company moderates issues such as hate speech, terrorism, pornography and self-harm on its platform, the Guardian reported, citing internal guidelines seen by the newspaper. New challenges such as "revenge porn" have overwhelmed Facebook's moderators, who often have just 10 seconds to make a decision, the Guardian said. Source
  • Bill Cosby 'looking forward' to trial as jury selection in sex assault case begins

    World News CBC News
    A Temple University basketball team manager's complaint that famous alumnus Bill Cosby drugged and molested her when she went to his home outside Philadelphia for career advice in 2004 will soon go before a Pennsylvania jury. Source
  • Game hunter crushed by elephant he shot

    World News Toronto Sun
    Always keep your eyes on the prize. One hunter learned that the hard way. Theunis Botha, 51, was killed in Zimbabwe on Friday when he was crushed to death by an elephant cow he just shot. According to the U.K. Source
  • Mentally ill dad who killed three kids up for review in British Columbia

    Canada News CTV News
    VANCOUVER -- The case of a British Columbia man found not criminally responsible for killing his three children because of a mental illness is up for review, two years after a provincial board opened the door to him receiving supervised day trips. Source