Thursday, January 14, 2021 – Across Canada, communities responding to COVID-19 have now received an injection of more than $136M from United Ways and Centraides (UWCs) through the Emergency Community Support Fund (ECSF). United Way Centraide Canada (UWCC) is one of three intermediary organizations* administering the ECSF, a $350M investment announced by the Government of Canada on April 21, 2020.

UWCC launched Round 1 of its ECSF program on May 19, 2020 and opened Round 2 on October 5, 2020. An open application process was administered by our national network of participating local UWC members, reaching more than 5,000 communities from coast to coast to coast.

As of Jan. 12, UWCC has distributed all available funds. In total, the ECSF has provided financial resources to 5,260 programs to help meet the immediate and pressing needs of vulnerable people. Of those programs funded, 2,674 (51%) are brand new community partners from outside of the UWC network of community service agencies. The average grant amount was $25,963.

UWCs have distributed ECSF funds to help bridge the service gap in communities like Cambridge Bay, Northwest Territories, where a $26,044 grant has been put to work through the municipality to provide food security, financial wellness, and health and hygiene supports. In all regions and territories of Canada, in communities large and small, rural and remote, grants have been made to ensure vulnerable people have the supports they need.

Explore this interactive map to see the full scope of local community investments and to find out what service organizations in your community have received support:

Local UWCs are part of the fabric of the communities they serve. Each one has an intimate knowledge of the local issues and strong connections to local service networks. That local expertise allowed UWCs to make rapid, informed decisions to distribute funds to provide emergency relief to those who need it most.

Since the launch of Round 1 of the ECSF, we have seen needs shift as COVID-19 cases fluctuated and local communities contended with changing public health guidelines. However, through both rounds, the most frequently funded service categories were social inclusion and learning, mental health and wellness, and food security. Vulnerable populations receiving the most support through UWC’s portion of the ECSF include people living with low income or in poverty; children and youth aged 0-18; seniors and elders not in care; people living with mental illness; and young people aged 19-29 who require support for daily living or who are living in unstable situations.

UWCC is proud to be working with Employment and Social Development Canada and our partner intermediaries to deliver critical funds that serve vulnerable people across the country.


The Emergency Community Support Fund is funded by the Government of Canada.

*The Canadian Red Cross and Community Foundations of Canada are also disbursing funds from the ECSF through separate granting streams.