The Humanitarian Coalition Mission and History


The Humanitarian Coalition strives to maximize Canadian fundraising efforts in support of members’ assistance programs for the survivors of international humanitarian disasters.  By working together, the members seek to increase the awareness of needs, reduce the duplication of costs and take the guesswork out of giving for Canadians.



During global humanitarian crises, when lives are at stake, the Humanitarian Coalition unites Canadians to help and to save more lives. Together, we are Canada’s first and trusted choice in times of need, responding with immediate lifesaving assistance and humanitarian aid when and where it is needed the most.


Our Objectives

  • Successful fundraising appeals to bring assistance to the survivors of major humanitarian disasters;

  • Financial sustainability;

  • Leadership in accountability to stakeholders: Canadian public, donors and among peer members;

  • Strong governance, leadership and management. 



Following the South Asian Tsunami of 2004, a number of Canadian relief organizations discussed the creation of a Canadian joint appeal mechanism.  All of Canada’s principal humanitarian organisations were involved in the initial studies and discussions.  Four of these organizations went on to found and pilot the Humanitarian Coalition. These were: CARE Canada, Oxfam Canada, Oxfam-Québec and Save the Children Canada.

Relying on the examples of European joint appeal mechanisms, the Humanitarian Coalition was formed initially in 2005 as a loose agreement between the four founding member agencies to pursue joint fundraising efforts in Canada for humanitarian disaster relief.


Significant appeals and milestones since the inception of the Humanitarian Coalition:



  • Canadian Lutheran World Relief and Islamic Relief Canada join the Humanitarian Coalition


  • Accredited by Imagine Canada Standard Program
  • Websites for partners during times of appeals launched
  • National campaign launched for World Refuge Day
  • New visibility campaign released
  • Partnership signed with Canadian Businesses for Social Responsibility to increase information sharing with private sector
  • One-year review of Nepal Earthquake response completed


  • Study by the Conference Board of Canada on cross-sector collaboration released
  • Canadian Humanitarian Assistance Fund extended for three years
  • Launch of second Syrian Refugee Crisis appeal
  • Launch of Nepal Earthquake appeal


  • Launch of the Cross-Sector Collaboration project
  • Launch of the Ebola Outbreak appeal
  • Launch of our South Sudan Crisis appeal
  • Launch of the Canadian Humanitarian Assistance Fund and final review of the pilot.
  • Rebranding and renewal of our humanitarian blog: Relief to Recovery
  • Preparations and highly successful completion of the second annual Canadian Humanitarian Conference: 
    Adaptation and Innovation: Canada’s Contributions to Humanitarian Response
  • Creation of a new position, Finance and Administration Officer.
  • Accreditation by the Better Business Bureau Charity Seal


  • Launch of the Syrian Refugee Crisis appeal
  • Conference (Ottawa, ON) - The Future of Humanitarian Response: Towards More Effective, Accountable and Innovative Approaches
  • Hosting of our joint appeal colleagues and creation of the Emergency Appeals Alliance
  • Publication of our humanitarian guide: Bridging the Gap: A Guide to Improving Humantiarian Practice to Support Long-Term Food Security
  • First annual Canadian Humanitarian Conference
  • Launch of the Typhoon Haiyan Appeal


  • Launch of the Sahel Drought Appeal
  • Hosted th conference (Ottawa, ON) - Overcoming Chronic Food Insecurity: What Lessons After 2 Years of Major Droughts in Africa? Implications for Canadian Humanitarian and Development Practitioners.
  • Fourth staffing position created - Communications Manager


  • Launch of the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami
  • Launch of the East Africa Drought and Food Crisis
  • Plan Canada joins as fifth member of the Humanitarian Coalition
  • Two new staff positions created - Partnership Development Officer and Office Manager


  • Launch of the Haiti Earthquake Appeal
  • Launch of the Pakistan Floods Appeal
  • Autonomous operations as own legal entity begin in July


  • Launch of the East Africa Drought Appeal
  • Launch of the Asia-Pacific Disasters Appeal
  • Legal incorporation completed; creation of Operations Manual and piloting of Monitoring and Evaluation Framework


  • Launch of the Mozambique Floods Appeal
  • Launch of the Kenya Election Crisis Appeal
  • Launch of the Burma Cyclone Nargis Appeal
  • Creations of financial procedures, joint program standards and monitoring and evaluation framework


  • Launch of the Lebanon Crisis Appeal (Pilot #2)


  • Launch of the Pakistan Earthquake Appeal (Pilot #1)