The Government of Canada has recently announced the establishment of the Sahel Crisis Matching Fund. The Government of Canada will contribute one dollar to this Fund for every eligible dollar donated by individual Canadians to Canadian registered charities that are responding the food and nutrition crisis in the Sahel region in West Africa.

The Fund is managed and administered by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). In order to qualify for the matching program, a donation must meet the following criteria:

  • must be made by an individual Canadian
  • must be monetary, not exceeding $100,000 per individual
  • must be made to a registered Canadian charity that is receiving donations in response to the crisis in the Sahel
  • must be specifically earmarked by such organizations for the purpose of responding to the crisis, and
  • must be made between August 7 and September 30, 2012.

Charities that receive eligible donations are required to submit a Sahel Crisis Matching Fund Declaration to CIDA, declaring the amount of eligible donations received, in order for the Government to match these donations. The form is available by emailing CIDA through CIDA’s website. The form must be submitted no later than October 15, 2012.

Charities will not directly receive matching contributions from the Government. The government contributions will be made to the Fund, which is administered by CIDA. The Fund will be used to support the work of experienced Canadian and international humanitarian organizations. Organizations with capacity to respond to the crisis can submit proposals for support from the Fund.

Details on the program are available on the CIDA website. Charities engaged in responding to the Sahel Crisis should make sure that their donors are aware of this matching program.