Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced significant additional support for emergency relief activities in the Philippines.
“I am very pleased to announce that our Government will commit an additional $15 million towards emergency relief activities that should bring further comfort to the victims of this catastrophe. This brings the Government of Canada’s commitment to date to more than $20 million.”
He made the announcement during his visit to Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Parish in Toronto where he met with members of the Filipino-Canadian community to discuss Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) and the government’s response to the crisis.
“Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with those in the Philippines who have been devastated by Typhoon Haiyan. We are standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the Filipino-Canadian families who have loved ones that have been affected by this tragic natural disaster,” said the Prime Minister.
“Our Government has taken decisive action to address the ravages of the typhoon by working closely with the Filipino-Canadian community, relief agencies and the Government of the Philippines to provide ongoing support to those who need it most. Canada is responding to this disaster in coordination with the Government of the Philippines and Canada’s humanitarian partners, such as United Nations agencies, the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, and non-governmental organizations, to ensure that humanitarian support meets the needs of the people affected by the typhoon.”
The additional $15 million announced today will be disbursed to a range of humanitarian relief efforts based on appeals from these partners, who have the expertise and capacity to deliver assistance on the ground.
This forms part of the Government of Canada’s decisive action to provide emergency relief to the victims of typhoon Yolanda.
Canada’s response now includes the following measures:
• Providing an initial allocation of $30,000 to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to help launch relief operations;
• Providing up to $5 million in support to humanitarian organizations for emergency relief activities;
• Committing an additional $15 million for humanitarian assistance, based on appeals from Canada’s humanitarian partners, such as United Nations agencies, the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, and non-governmental organizations, who have the expertise and capacity to deliver assistance on the ground;
• Creating a matching fund by which the government will contribute a dollar for each eligible dollar donated by individual Canadians to registered Canadian charities until December 9, 2013;
• Assisting with the deployment of a Canadian Red Cross 12-person medical team and field hospital to provide emergency health support in the Philippines;
• Sending the Interdepartmental Strategic Support Team to Manila to determine where Canada’s help is most needed; and,
• Deploying elements of the Canadian Armed Forces’ Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) to support Government of Canada relief efforts in the region by providing clean water, medical assistance and logistical support. The DART will address the pressing needs in the provinces of Iloilo and Capiz.
In addition, Canada will be prioritizing the processing of Filipino applications on request from those who are significantly and personally affected by Typhoon Yolanda. Requests from Filipino citizens who are temporarily in Canada and wish to extend their stay will be assessed in a compassionate and flexible manner. Canadians without travel documents as a result of the typhoon will have their applications expedited by the Canadian Embassy in Manila.
Prime Minister Harper also spoke with President Benigno S. Aquino III on November 11 to extend his heartfelt condolences to the people of the Philippines, and to offer support to the Government of the Philippines in the aftermath of the natural disaster.