Ottawa extends Syria Emergency Relief Fund deadline
Published Thursday, January 7, 2016 3:00PM EST
Last Updated Thursday, January 7, 2016 11:48PM EST
The federal government has extended the deadline for Canadians to donate to Syrian relief efforts and have their contributions matched by the government.
The original deadline of Dec. 31, 2015 has now been pushed back to Feb. 29.
For every dollar donated by individuals to registered Canadian charities responding to the crisis in Syria, the federal government has been setting aside a dollar in the Syria Emergency Relief Fund, established in September 2015.
The government has pledged to match donations up to $100 million.
The Syria Emergency Relief Fund will be used to help Canadian humanitarian organizations “meet basic humanitarian needs of people affected by the conflict in Syria, including shelter, food, health care and water,” the government said in a news release.
The fund will also “provide protection and education for conflict-affected people in Syria and millions of refugees in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey.”
As of mid-December, Canadians have donated close to $12 million to eligible charities and the same amount was allocated to the Syria Emergency Relief Fund by the government, Minister of International Development Marie-Claude Bibeau said at a news conference Thursday.
Asked whether officials are disappointed that Canadians have only donated $12 million out of a potential $100 million since September, Bibeau said that “every dollar counts” and that Canadians and various organizations had been making donations well before the government’s relief fund was established.
To date, the government has given over $969 million in humanitarian assistance and development support in response to the Syrian civil war.