Syrian refugees wait at the border Jan. 13 near Royashed, Jordan. As a donors conference to stem the Syrian refugee crisis opens in London, Syria's neighbors, which have hosted hundreds of thousands of refugees for the past five years, say they cannot continue to bear the brunt of the burden. CNS photo/Courtesy of EPA

D&P receives $5.95 million in matching funds for Syrian refugees

By 
  • April 14, 2016

OTTAWA – The Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace has received $5.95 million in additional funding from the federal government’s Syria Emergency Relief Fund.

International Development Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau held a news conference April 13, flanked by a representatives from a dozen Canadian NGOS, including Development and Peace executive director David Leduc, to announce Canadians had donated $31.8 million to various charities during the five-month campaign. Donations had doubled during the two-month extension granted earlier this year, she said.

The fund committed the Canadian government to match funds up to $100 million, but Bibeau said the government would still add $100 million to the monies.

The government’s matching funds for the $31.8 million raised by private charities will go to the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), and the additional $68.2 million has been disbursed for various humanitarian and development projects in Syria and the region to help the millions of displaced people, especially women and children.

Development and Peace will receive up to $3.7 million to help vulnerable, internally displaced families in Iraq with shelter, water and sanitation and provide educational opportunities and learning materials for children. In Syria, the Canadian bishops’ overseas development agency will receive up to $1.25 million to provide emergency assistance and help families rebuild their livelihoods. This will affect 60,000 people inside Syria, Leduc said. Development and Peace has also been granted up to $1 million to help small farmers rebuild their livelihoods with sustainable gardening practices.

Leduc said the additional funding demonstrates the government “has shown openness to partners working in the region” who have asked “to maintain the development assistance governments around the world have been offering.”

Development and Peace had raised almost $2.4 million eligible for matching funds.

The heftiest donation to UNICEF will provide educational opportunities, child protection services and immunization programs in Syria and Jordan. Bibeau said 2.8 million children inside Syria have not been able to go to school for more than two years. Their schools have either been bombed or are being used for displaced persons, she said.

Other monies, distributed among a range of NGOs will provide food, shelter, child protection, water, sanitation and hygiene, and counseling for victims of sexual violence, she said.

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