Today, the Canadian Medical Association Foundation (CMAF) announced a $10 million donation to address the needs of vulnerable populations affected by COVID-19 in communities across Canada.
Through a strategic collaboration with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), the CMAF is donating directly to municipalities to support their efforts to reach, protect and assist those experiencing homelessness, food insecurity and mental health and substance use challenges.
“The pandemic is increasing the pressures and risks already experienced by Canada’s most vulnerable,” says Allison Seymour, CMAF president. “At the CMAF, we’re committed to supporting the health of Canadians and the communities we live in.”
The COVID-19 Community Response Fund for Vulnerable Populations will go toward items such as:
- creating dedicated spaces to support physical distancing measures;
- medical and support services for people experiencing mental health and substance use challenges;
- community food programs;
- personal protective equipment for community support workers; and
- other measures designed to build community resiliency and support sustainable recovery.
“As front-line governments, municipalities see first-hand where and how this pandemic hits hardest, and they know how to effectively direct these funds in order to get tangible results,” says Bill Karsten, FCM president. “This initiative will empower them to better reach, protect and assist the most vulnerable among us — including those experiencing homelessness or grappling with mental health and substance use challenges.”
Today’s announcement builds on another sizeable contribution made by the CMAF to front-line health workers, hospitals and family medicine; on April 21, it announced an unprecedented $20 million donation to support urgent needs within the health care system through targeted grants.