Plight of displaced focus of new World Refugee Day campaign

There are many causes of hunger, but a main one is conflict – war pushes people out of their homes and off their land and makes them dependent on food aid.

For Canadian Foodgrains Bank, this reality was brought home last year when 41 percent of its work was in response to the needs of people affected by fighting.

For this reason, the Foodgrains Bank has joined other Canadian relief and development agencies, and the Canadian government, in supporting the June 6–20, 2016, World Refugee Day campaign to draw attention to the plight of 60 million refugees and displaced people in the world today.

The campaign was launched Apr. 22, 2016, in Ottawa. It featured remarks by the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie.

“Behind the numbers, refugees are ordinary people facing extraordinarily difficult situations,” she said at the launch.

“From Yemen to Jordan, from Cameroon to Kenya, refugees need our attention, but also the care and assistance they need to rebuild their lives. We welcome this campaign by Canadian partners to highlight the plight of refugees around the world.”

Arif Virani, Parliamentary Secretary for the Honourable John McCallum, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, also spoke at the event. “All over the world, people are leaving their homeland due to war and conflict,” he said. “I thank Canadians for showing our values of compassion, kindness, and generosity by supporting this campaign.’’

Of the 60 million people forcibly displaced from their homes today, “more than half of this number are children,” noted Patricia Erb, chair of the Humanitarian Coalition and president & CEO of Save the Children, at the launch.

“We’ve seen so much generosity and compassion from Canadians for the Syrian refugees,” she went on to say. “We ask Canadians to see this as an opportunity to better understand and support the millions of refugees who will never make Canada their home and the efforts underway to assist them around the world.”

Along with the Foodgrains Bank, groups joining together to support the World Refugee Day campaign include CARE Canada, Oxfam Canada, Oxfam Quebec, Plan International Canada, Save the Children, UNHCR Canada, World Vision Canada and Islamic Relief Canada.

The goal of the campaign is to call on Canadians to learn more about the plight and needs of refugees around the world and to raise their voice and funds to assist them.

Funds raised by the Foodgrains Bank through the campaign will be used for its programs in Syria.

More information about the campaign is available at 

Canadian Foodgrains Bank is a partnership of 15 churches and church agencies working together to end global hunger. In the 2015-16 budget year, the Foodgrains Bank provided over $43 million of assistance for over one million people in 40 countries. Canadian Foodgrains Bank projects are undertaken with matching support from the Government of Canada. Assistance from the Foodgrains Bank is provided through its member agencies, which work with local partners in the developing world.

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