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This is a further update on the Beirut Lebanon explosion appeal, and how PWRDF is responding.

Dear PWRDF volunteers:

Since the horrible explosion happened in Beirut, Lebanon last week, PWRDF has received many donations. Below is a Q&A to help you stay informed and respond to questions from people in your parish or community wondering how PWRDF is responding and how the Humanitarian Coalition matching fund works. The Q&A can also be found at this link

What is happening in Beirut?

On August 4, 2020 a devastating explosion ripped through the heart of Beirut destroying homes, killing dozens and injuring thousands. Many are still missing and many will die due to critical injuries sustained in the blast. Tens of thousands have lost their homes and much of the vital infrastructure of the city has been damaged beyond repair.

How is PWRDF responding?

On August 5, PWRDF released a statement on our website expressing our shock and deep concern for everyone affected. We reached out to our partner in the region, the Middle East Council of Churches (MECC). MECC responded with thanks for the expression of solidarity and the prayers and shared that what has happened in Beirut cannot be expressed in words.
On August 7, PWRDFannounced a pledge of $25,000 to an ACT Alliance appeal to deliver emergency relief. ACT Alliance has been responding to the refugee crisis in Lebanon as part of their regional appeal covering Syria, Lebanon and Jordan. An update on this relief work will be published soon on our website.

How is the Canadian government helping?

On Saturday, August 8, the Government of Canadaannounced a 1:1 Matching Fund that will double the contributions of Canadians and support the relief work of the members of Canada’s Humanitarian Coalition. The Canadian Foodgrains Bank is a member of the Humanitarian Coalition. PWRDF is a member of the Foodgrains Bank, and opted in to this fundraising appeal so that the donations we receive for Beirut could be matched by the government.
The government of Canada will match every dollar donated to PWRDF’s Beirut explosion appeal, which will be counted towards the Canadian Foodgrains Bank’s contribution to the Humanitarian Coalition matching appeal.

On August 12, in response to overwhelming generosity from Canadians, the original matching fund maximum was increased to $5 million from $2 million.

How do funds qualify for the match?
To be eligible, funds must be donated between August 4 and August 24, 2020.

How can you help?

- Go to PWRDF, choose Beirut Explosion, or click here to be taken right to the online donation page.

- OR Call 1-866-308-7973 toll-free (please leave a message and we will return your call), or 416-822-9083 to speak immediately with someone who can process your donation over the phone.

- OR Write Beirut explosion in the memo field of your cheque and mail to PWRDF, 80 Hayden Street, 3rd floor, Toronto, Ontario, M4Y 3G2.

- Download the bulletin message found at and share with your community. It is designed to be printed double-sided and cut in two, but the text can also be copied into an e-blast. You can also share any of our stories at or social media posts on your own social media channels.

Where will the donated funds go?

Donations to PWRDF’s Beirut explosion will go towards the ACT Alliance pledge of $25,000 and will be counted towards the Canadian Foodgrains Bank contribution to the Humanitarian Coalition match.

Is PWRDF a member of the Humanitarian Coalition?

No. But PWRDF is a member of the Canadian Foodgrains Bank who is a member, and as such, PWRDF is able to opt in to Humanitarian Coalition appeals. This is especially advantageous when the appeal has a government match.

Why did the Foodgrains Bank join the Humanitarian Coalition?

In times of emergency, the Humanitarian Coalition facilitates working together to raise funds in order to reduce costs so that donor dollars are well-spent and the money goes where it is needed most. Working together with other leading humanitarian aid agencies allows the Foodgrains Bank to have a bigger impact than it might on its own.

How will the funds be disbursed?

When the appeal is over, the Government will provide those matched funds to the Humanitarian Coalition. The Foodgrains Bank will receive a pre-determined percentage of the total funds collected through the match from the Humanitarian Coalition, regardless of how much we raise ourselves.

The Foodgrains Bank will use its share of matched funds to support member projects responding to the crisis. Members can apply to receive some of the funds.

Who is the Humanitarian Coalition?

The Humanitarian Coalition is a collaboration of leading Canadian aid agencies that work together to raise funds so that humanitarian relief can be delivered quickly and effectively. The members are:

  • Action Against Hunger
  • Canadian Foodgrains BankC
  • Canadian Lutheran World Relief
  • CARE Canada
  • Doctors of the World
  • Humanity & Inclusion
  • Islamic Relief Canada
  • Oxfam Canada
  • Oxfam-Québec
  • Plan International Canada
  • Save the Children Canada
  • World Vision Canada

Why did the government create a matching fund through the Humanitarian Coalition?

As a coalition of highly respected agencies, the Humanitarian Coalition has the confidence of the Canadian government and many corporate and media partners.
The Humanitarian Coalition provides Canadians with a simple and effective way to help when a disaster strikes somewhere in the world. Working together eliminates competition and confusion, and streamlines fundraising.


Christine Hills
Public Engagement Program Officer

416-924-9199 x 325

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the PWRDF Office has initiated work-from-home protocols until further notice. I am still available through normal channels (voice mail and email) during regular business hours.