People interested in volunteering for Titanic commemorative events in Halifax Regional Municipality in April are encouraged to sign up online. “Nova Scotia has a strong tradition of volunteers coming forward to support key events in our communities,” said David Wilson, Minister of Communities, Culture and Heritage. “Once again, volunteers will play a large role in helping host commemorative events for Nova Scotians and international visitors.” A new online tool developed by Events Nova Scotia allows people to sign up for events, create a user profile and indicate personal skill sets and available dates and times for volunteering. “The Nova Scotia Volunteer Tool allows us to capitalize on our strong event-driven volunteer community by matching volunteers with events happening throughout the province,” said Grant MacDonald, director, Events Nova Scotia. “Experienced and enthusiastic volunteers are critical to the success of any major event and this tool gives events such as Titanic 100 a unique solution to attract the talent they need.” A limited number of volunteer positions are available to help greet visitors, provide event information and offer operations support. Titanic anniversary events April 14 and 15 include The Gathering, a walking, candle-lit procession from the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic to the Grand Parade; Titanic Eve – Night of the Bells, an evening of interpretive presentations and live performances at the Grand Parade; and the Titanic Spiritual Ceremony, an interfaith memorial service at Fairview Lawn Cemetery. Other events will take place the week before the anniversary. “Titanic 100 is delighted to partner with Events Nova Scotia to provide volunteers with an accessible way to sign up for events,” said Jennifer Stewart, volunteer co-ordinator, Titanic 100. “We look forward to welcoming new and veteran volunteers as we continue to prepare for events in April.” People interested in volunteering for morning, afternoon or evening shifts from April 7 to 15 can apply online at the Events Nova Scotia website at www.eventsnovascotia.com/nsvolunteertool .
The United Nations humanitarian chief today allocated $75 million from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to bolster desperately needed relief operations in two of the world’s most neglected regions: the West African Sahel and the Horn of Africa.“With so many crises competing for attention, many people in need are forgotten,” said Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Valerie Amos, in a press statement today.The money will go to 11 countries which were selected based on a global review of critical aid operations that are facing funding deficits. It will help relief agencies provide urgent aid to millions of people in these regions affected by violent conflict, mass displacement and deepening food insecurity.“This allocation will help critical emergency operations in the Sahel and in the Horn of Africa, regions with high levels of malnutrition and food insecurity. People are hungry. Their plight was front-page news just two years ago. These countries could fall back into crisis if we don’t help now,” Ms. Amos said. Countries in the Horn will receive $44.5 million. The largest single allocation, $20 million, will go to Somalia, where 2.9 million people are struggling to feed themselves. Humanitarian agencies in Ethiopia, Kenya and Eritrea will receive $12 million, $10 million and $2.5 million, respectively. Another $30.5 million will allow aid agencies to boost emergency operations in seven countries in the Sahel including Niger, Cameroon, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Nigeria and Gambia.This is the second of two annual rounds of allocations from the CERF Underfunded Emergencies window, designed to ensure life-saving relief work continues in countries where needs are high. When CERF was established in 2005, humanitarian appeals sought $6 billion in funding worldwide and by mid-2014, that amount has nearly tripled to $17 billion. Since its inception, the Fund has allocated more than $3.4 billion for humanitarian agencies operating in 88 countries.