Federal Government to Match Donations to Charities Responding to Syria Crisis

September 15, 2015 | Kate Lazier, Nicole K. D’Aoust

The Federal Government announced on September 12, 2015 that it will match donations by individual Canadians to registered Canadian charities that are responding to the conflict in Syria, up to a total of $100 million.  In order for a donation to be considered for the matching program, the donation must be:

  • Monetary in nature;
  • Not exceed $100,000 per individual;
  • Made to a registered Canadian charity that is receiving donations in response to the Syria crisis;
  • Specifically earmarked for response to the Syria crisis;
  • Made between September 12, 2015 and December 31, 2015;
  • Used by the registered charity receiving the donation in support of the humanitarian response to the impact of the Syria crisis; and
  • Declared by the registered charity receiving the donation to the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada.

The announcement does not indicate what specific activities will be considered to be activities “in response to the Syria crisis” or “the impact of the Syria crisis.”  However, the Government does indicate that the matched funds will be used to “meet the basic needs of conflict-affected people in the region, as well as in official development assistance-eligible transit countries for refugees.”  The announcement also indicates that the Government’s contribution will “provide assistance through international and Canadian humanitarian organizations and will meet humanitarian needs such as shelter, food, health and water, as well as protection and emergency education.”

It is important to note that Canada has economic sanctions against Syria.  Any registered Canadian charity carrying on work in Syria must comply with the Canadian economic sanctions against Syria.

The Charity and Non-Profit lawyers at Miller Thomson LLP can assist charities in complying with economic sanctions and the Government’s matching program.

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