Canadian donations for Syrian relief efforts fall 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

  • Corruption whistleblower calls for ouster of Quebec Liberals

    Canada News CTV News
    MONTREAL - The Liberals must be defeated in October's election in order to properly clean up Quebec politics, says a former star witness in the province's corruption inquiry. Most of the people convicted in the high-profile cases investigated by Quebec's anti-corruption unit have pleaded guilty and served no jail time, while high-level actors at the provincial level have barely been touched, says Lino Zambito. Source
  • Indigenous protesters in Washington state declare Trans Mountain won't be built

    Canada News CTV News
    VANCOUVER - Cedar George-Parker remembers the moment he decided to devote his life to defending Indigenous people and their traditional territories. It was the one-year anniversary of a shooting at his high school that killed four of his classmates in Marysville, Wash. Source
  • Puerto Rico struggles with jump in asthma cases post-Maria

    World News CTV News
    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - Shortly after he turned 2, Yadriel Hernandez started struggling to breathe. His doctor prescribed an inhaler and an allergy pill for asthma, and his symptoms were mostly under control. Then Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, strewing mould-producing wreckage across the island and forcing many to use fume-spewing generators for power. Source
  • Melania Trump releases statement calling for cooperation in case of separated families

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON - First lady Melania Trump "hates" to see families separated at the border and hopes "both sides of the aisle" can reform the nation's immigration laws, according to a statement from her office Sunday about the controversy. Source
  • Five killed after SUV chased by U.S. Border Patrol crashes in South Texas

    World News CTV News
    BIG WELLS, Texas - At least five people were killed and several others hurt Sunday as an SUV carrying more than a dozen people during a suspected "smuggling event" crashed while fleeing from Border Patrol agents in South Texas, authorities said. Source
  • Gunman wounds 2, fatally shot by bystander at Walmart store

    World News CTV News
    TUMWATER, Wash. - A gunman injured a teen and shot a man in a pair of carjacking attempts Sunday, before being killed by a bystander outside a Washington state Walmart store. The incident at the Walmart in Tumwater happened about 5 p.m. Source
  • In Bill Morneau's riding, 40% of children live in poverty, report says

    Canada News CBC News
    Four in every 10 children residing in Finance Minister Bill Morneau's downtown Toronto riding live in poverty, one of the highest rates identified in a new report tracking child poverty rates across all 338 federal ridings. Source
  • At least 3 dead, dozens hurt after earthquake hits Japan

    World News CBC News
    Japanese disaster authorities say two people have been found without vital signs and 41 others injured by an earthquake in western Japan. The magnitude 6.1 earthquake struck the city of Osaka and the surrounding area Monday about 8 a.m. Source
  • Hawkish conservative Duque poised to become Colombia's next president

    World News CTV News
    BOGOTA -- Ivan Duque, the young conservative protege of a powerful former president, was elected Colombia's next leader Sunday after promising to roll back a fragile peace accord that has divided the South American nation. Source
  • Police suspect fire at mosque in Edson, Alberta was deliberately set

    Canada News CTV News
    EDSON, Alta. - RCMP in Alberta say they're investigating an arson at a mosque in a community west of Edmonton. Police say damage to the Edson Mosque on Saturday night was minor and that no one was injured. Source