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Canada Jul 21, 2017

Famine relief campaign hits $3.8 million with matching funds

By Michael Swan

An interfaith donation blitz on behalf of 20 million people threatened with famine in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen has resulted in $3.8 million headed overseas in the name of the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace. (Denis Dumo / Reuters / CNS)

TORONTO (CCN)—An interfaith donation blitz on behalf of 20 million people threatened with famine in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen has resulted in $3.8 million headed overseas in the name of the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (CCODP).

Between March 17 and June 30 Canadians gave $2.5 million to CCODP, of which $1.3 million is eligible for matching funds from the Government of Canada’s Famine Relief Fund. Add up the matched and unmatched funds and it comes to $3.8 million.

CCODP efforts got a boost June 7 when the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops joined forces with Muslims, Jews, and others to launch Pray, Give, Speak Out—a campaign to raise as much money as possible before a June 30 Global Affairs Canada deadline for matching funds. The campaign, which included special Sunday collections in parishes across the country, boosted the response, said CCODP executive director Serge Langlois.

“This joint appeal of all faith communities was a unified cry from the heart,” said Langlois in a release.

The Famine Relief Fund was quietly launched May 29 in response to a United Nations declaration in February that 20 million people, including 1.4 million children, may starve to death in three African countries plus Yemen on the southern end of the Arabian Peninsula.

As of July 18, Global Affairs does not yet know how much money was raised by the Famine Relief Fund.

“Global Affairs Canada is validating the eligibility of all donations reported and the total amount in donations will be released in due course,” said a Global Affairs spokesperson.

(The Catholic Register)