On April 25, 2015, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake devastated Nepal. Thousands of lives have been lost, many people are injured and property and infrastructure has been severely damaged. To encourage Canadians to assist with the disaster relief efforts, the Government of Canada has announced it will match charitable donations dollar for dollar in the Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund.
To be counted toward the Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund, charitable donations must be:
- made between April 25 and May 25, 2015;
- made by individual Canadians;
- less than $100,000 per individual;
- monetary (not goods);
- made to a registered Canadian charity that is receiving donations in response to the Nepal earthquake; and
- specifically earmarked for response to the Nepal earthquake.
The Government will match donations from a fundraising event held to raise money from individuals in response to the Nepal earthquake. For example, funds raised by schools, faith-based organizations, clubs, social groups, businesses, incorporated entities or charitable organizations from individuals will be eligible for the matching program.
However, donations made by corporations and other entities from their existing resources that were not raised from individuals specifically in response to the Nepal earthquake, or are in excess of the amount raised from individuals, are not eligible to be matched.
Registered charities declaring eligible donations must complete the Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund Declaration Form on or before June 12, 2015. The form will require a charity to certify that the donations declared are eligible. Charities should therefore track the eligible donations. Charities are under no obligation to declare donations to Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD) if they are not satisfied that they meet the eligibility requirements. The form will be available on the DFATD website.
The charity declaring an amount of eligible donations does not receive the matching funds. Instead, for every eligible dollar donated the government will contribute a dollar to the Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund. On April 25th, the government contributed $5-million to start the fund, which will count toward the matching funds.
The Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund will be used to support experienced Canadian and international humanitarian and development organizations with significant in-country capacity to deliver humanitarian, early recovery and reconstruction assistance in Nepal. Funds will be allocated to these organizations based on DFATD’s humanitarian assistance guidelines and the ability of the organizations to access the affected populations and deliver timely, effective and appropriate assistance.