Final Days for Canadians to double their donation to the Horn of Africa

Sep 14, 2011, 18:35 ET from UNICEF Canada

UNICEF racing against time to scale up famine relief for children and families

To view the Enriched Media Release, click here:

TORONTO, Sept. 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ - Despite its slow build, the crisis in the Horn of Africa has reached a critical point with 750,000 people at risk of dying in the coming months - more than twice the number in July. UNICEF continues to scale up efforts to deliver life-saving aid across Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia and Djibouti, but it is a race against time. UNICEF is appealing to all Canadians for support during the final days of the government match for the Horn of Africa - an opportunity for the nation to double its impact to help children and families in need.

"Canadians have not forgotten about malnourished children on the other side of the world, and their generosity has enabled us to provide supplies and services to children who would have died without it," said David Morley, President and CEO, UNICEF Canada. "However, we need to act now to save more lives. We're calling on all Canadians to help now - before the famine in Somalia spreads further and while the Canadian government is matching donations."

The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) is matching individual donations for the Horn of Africa until September 16 to help the 13.3 million people in need of urgent humanitarian assistance.

UNICEF is the leading supplier of therapeutic foods in the Horn of Africa and works to quickly assess and treat malnourished children. In most cases, the bicep of a severely malnourished child is often no more than the size of a Twoonie. These malnourished children are given immediate treatment with therapeutic milk and Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Foods (RUTF) such as Plumpy'Nut®, a high impact peanut paste fortified with essential vitamin and minerals. Once treated, a child can recover fully.

When 3-year-old Aden left his famine and conflict-stricken community in Somalia for the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya, his 5 kg body was perilously close to shutting down. Aden received treatment at the stabilization centre upon his arrival, and over the course of weeks he grew stronger, improving in small increments each day. Now he eats solid foods and is able to stand with support for a few seconds at a time. Some 190,000 children in Somalia are like Aden, and UNICEF and partners are rapidly scaling up operations to reach every child.

By mid-August, UNICEF delivered close to 4,000 metric tons of life-saving supplies to the hardest hit and hardest-to-reach areas of Somalia alone. The 800 feeding centres across Somalia, including 500 in the south, assist 35,000 malnourished children monthly. Plans are underway to more than double efforts to reach 100,000 children.

The magnitude of the crisis requires UNICEF to be creative and find fast and innovative ways - at scale - to prevent more children from dying. UNICEF is also complementing food assistance with food vouchers and cash transfers to reach all in need.

Canadians can support UNICEF's emergency efforts in the Horn of Africa by donating online at, calling 1 800 567-4483, or texting GIVE to 45678 to donate $10. Donations will go a long way:

  • $50 donation will supply 100 packages of Plumpy'Nut®
  • $100 will supply 40 sachets of therapeutic milk
  • $250 will supply food relief bundles of over 200 Plumpy'Nut® packages and 3,571 High Energy Biscuits which are rich in protein
  • $500 will supply 11,904 High Energy Biscuits

In emergency response, UNICEF is a leader in inter-agency relief efforts to treat malnourished children, provide maternal and child health services, prevent the spread of disease, improve access to clean water and sanitation, safeguard education, and protect vulnerable children.


UNICEF is the world's leading child-focused humanitarian and development agency. Through innovative programs and advocacy work, we save children's lives and secure their rights in virtually every country. Our global reach, unparalleled influence on policymakers, and diverse partnerships make us an instrumental force in shaping a world in which no child dies of a preventable cause. UNICEF is entirely supported by voluntary donations and helps all children, regardless of race, religion or politics. For more information about UNICEF, please visit


Image with caption: "A sleeping child's upper arm is measured by a nurse during a UNICEF-assisted nutrition screening in Longelop Village, Kenya. The measurement, using a mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) armband, is taken to assess a child's nutrition status. The red section of the armband indicates that he is severely malnourished and in need of urgent treatment.(CNW Group/UNICEF Canada)". Image available at:

Image with caption: "Berida Jateni feeds her 10-month-old daughter, Firdoze Liben, a ready-to-eat therapeutic food, outside their home in Meleb Village, Ethiopia. Firdoze is severely malnourished and enrolled in a UNICEF-supported Government outpatient therapeutic feeding programme. Firdoze weighed 5.7 kilograms when admitted to the outpatient program; after two weeks of treatment, she weighed 6.4 kilograms and she continues to recover. (CNW Group/UNICEF Canada)". Image available at:

Video with caption: "Video: Mia Farrow in Dadaab, Kenya: 'Something huge is happening here and it's terrible'". Video available at: