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Steelworkers Humanity Fund contributes $25,000 in emergency aid to alleviate growing famine in Horn of Africa

TORONTO – The Steelworkers Humanity Fund is contributing $25,000 to humanitarian efforts to face the extreme hunger crisis affecting Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya and South Sudan.

The Horn of Africa faces unprecedent drought episodes, acute hunger linked to conflict, COVID-19, the climate crisis and the ripple effect of the war in Ukraine. The results are skyrocketing food and commodity prices and worsening hunger for millions living in one of the poorest and most vulnerable regions of the world.

“Droughts are inevitable, but famines can be prevented if governments and development, humanitarian, peace and climate actors take early and preventive action. However, lessons from the past have not been implemented, as more than 44 million people are now in need of humanitarian assistance in these four East African countries,” said Marty Warren, President of the Steelworkers Humanity Fund and National Director for Canada of the United Steelworkers union (USW).

The Steelworkers Humanity Fund will contribute $25,000 to OXFAM Canada to provide immediate aid, such as clean water to reduce risk of disease and improve sanitation, with a goal of reaching 1.5 million people in total. Rapid flexible cash assistance, matched with longer-term support, will help communities obtain the food needed immediately.

“The roots of the Steelworkers Humanity Fund can be traced back to 1985, when USW members stood in solidarity with Ethiopians facing famine. More than three decades later, it is very disturbing to see that we are faced with a similar situation affecting the entire Horn of Africa region,” Warren said.

“As the climate crisis worsens and makes instances of drought increasingly common, we must double down on taking anticipatory actions to prevent hunger.”

The Steelworkers Humanity Fund is a registered charitable organization that promotes respect for human rights and contributes to development projects and emergency aid in developing countries through working with organization partners around the globe. It also supports Canadian communities in crisis. United Steelworkers union members contribute to the fund through clauses negotiated into their collective agreements. In some cases, employers make matching contributions.

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For further information:

Marty Warren, President, Steelworkers Humanity Fund, 416-544-5951
Doug Olthuis, Executive Director, Steelworkers Humanity Fund, 416-859-9953, dolthuis@usw.ca
Shannon Devine, USW Communications, 416-894-7118 (cell), sdevine@usw.ca

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