Le Canada et la solidarité internationale à la Belgique (1914-1921). L’Œuvre de Secours pour les Victimes de la Guerre en Belgique

By the end of August 1914, Maurice Goor, Hector Prud’homme and Lambert Jadot began organising Canadian charity for Belgium by creating L’Œuvre de Secours pour les Victimes de la Guerre en Belgique. This was part of a vast international movement of aid to Belgium that was set up in the early hours of the conflict. Although the ambitions of its administrators were rather modest, it quickly became popular with both the elites and the Canadian population in general. Throughout the war, however, L’Œuvre de Secours was marked by major changes. It changed the way it collected donations on several occasions to prevent Canadian generosity from waning. In particular, it had to adapt its operations in 1917 following the United States’ entry into the war and the publication of the War Charities Act. After the end of hostilities, it continued its work to participate in the reconstruction of Belgium. L'Œuvre de Secours closed its activities in May 1919, although donations continued until 1921. The total sum collected by the charity, which amounted to just over 3,500,000 Canadian dollars, greatly contributed to international solidarity with Belgium, which can be estimated at around 8% of the amounts collected around the world.