In less than three and a half months, the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF) raised $379,000 for famine relief in Africa and the Middle East—money that will qualify for matching funds from Ottawa, the Anglican Church of Canada’s relief and development arm announced Wednesday, July 12.

PWRDF raised the amount between March 17 and June 30, 2017—the beginning and end dates of a temporary famine relief fund program announced (retroactively) by the federal government in May. Under the federal program, the funds will be matched at a ratio of 1:1.

“Having just spent two weeks in East Africa, meeting with farmers, business people, government officials and church leaders, including those from Somalia, Burundi, Kenya and South Sudan, I know the needs are high and that support is critical and life-saving,” said PWRDF executive director Will Postma. “PWRDF, with our partners on the ground, are grateful for prayers and this funding, from all across Canada. It’s an amazing show of support and solidarity.”

The donations came from both individuals and churches, PWRDF said.

PWRDF has already put $20,000 into supporting a food distribution project in South Sudan being carried out by the Adventist Relief and Development Agency. It will be funding more projects in the region’s worst affected countries over the next few weeks and months, PWRDF said, including in particular projects carried out by the ACT Alliance, a coalition of faith-based humanitarian organizations.

In April, Archbishop Fred Hiltz, primate of the Anglican Church of Canada, issued a letter with other Canadian church leaders calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to increase Canada’s support for humanitarian aid in South Sudan. The letter also raised concerns about a “desperate food scarcity crisis” in Yemen, Somalia and Nigeria.

Last month, the UN estimated almost two million people in South Sudan were on the brink of starvation.  On Monday, July 10, the UN said more than 300,000 people had been infected with cholera in Yemen—a country already in the grip of economic collapse and war.

Although the federal fund matching program is now over, PWRDF is still accepting donations to its own famine relief fund.

Donations to PWRDF can be made online, by phone (contact Jennifer Brown at 416-924-9192 ext. 355; or 1-866-308-7973) or by mail. Mailed cheques should be payable to “PWRDF Famine Relief Fund,” and sent to:

The Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund
80 Hayden Street
Toronto, ON  M4Y 3G2


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Tali Folkins
Tali Folkins has worked as a staff reporter for the Law Times and the New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal. His writing has appeared in The Globe and Mail and The United Church Observer.


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