Private fund helps sponsor 685 refugees across Canada

Emilie Coyle, a director at the Refugee Hub at the University of Ottawa, says major philanthropic donations helped encourage people to privately sponsor refugees. (Matthew Kupfer/CBC)

An Ottawa-based network that helped find private sponsors for 685 refugees across Canada with the backing of major philanthropists got a third of its sponsorship groups in Ottawa.

Canada had 1,000 unclaimed spaces for privately sponsored refugees in early August when the Refugee Fund was launched.

The fund is distributing $3.5 million and started with donations from an American philanthropist, the Shapiro Foundation, and the Giustra Foundation based in Vancouver.

Other donors later joined in to help cover the cost of privately sponsoring a refugee for a year.

Sponsors and the federal government split a year of income support for refugees in the program.

Half new sponsors

The cost of privately sponsoring a family of four is $18,100.


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