Typhoon Haiyan - Questions and Answers

Canada's Response to Typhoon Haiyan

Typhoon Haiyan - Questions and Answers

Questions and Answers

What is Canada doing to respond to the devastation in the Philippines?

  • Canada made an initial allocation of $30,000 to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies on Friday, November 8, to help launch relief operations and meet the needs of those affected by Typhoon Haiyan. Immediately following the typhoon, the Government of Canada deployed the Interdepartmental Strategic Support Team to the Philippines to help assess the needs of the affected population and identify areas for potential support.
  • Canada also provided an initial $5 million in support to humanitarian organizations striving to meet the needs of the people affected by this typhoon in the Philippines. These funds will be used to provide emergency relief activities and will include the provision of emergency shelter, food, water, livelihood support, and other essential services.
  • Canada established the Typhoon Haiyan Relief Fund, to match the eligible donations Canadians make to registered Canadian charities responding to the crisis, from November 9 to December 23, 2013.
  • The Canadian Armed Forces deployed the Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) to conduct emergency relief operations.
  • An additional $15 million was allocated to a range of United Nations agencies, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, and experienced non-governmental humanitarian organizations that are helping with relief efforts by providing food, water and sanitation, emergency shelter, and other essential services to those impacted by the Typhoon.
  • Canada will also be prioritizing the processing of applications on request from Filipinos who are significantly and personally affected by Typhoon Haiyan.

How can Canadians help?

  • The best way for Canadians to help is to donate money—not clothing or food—to experienced humanitarian organizations. Canadians are invited to consult the DFATD website. Cash donations are the fastest, most efficient way to get help to people affected by a disaster. They allow relief agencies to quickly purchase supplies based on the specific needs of the affected population.
  • Canadians are also encouraged to check with the registered charity of their choice to verify the organization has launched a charitable campaign for the Philippines. Eligible donations made in response to appeals for the Philippines will be matched by the Government of Canada.

Typhoon Haiyan Relief Fund

Why did the government decide, on November 10, to establish a matching mechanism?

  • Given that humanitarian needs were growing, the Government of Canada decided to establish this matching mechanism in order to meet the increased needs of affected populations, and to encourage support for the appeals made by humanitarian organizations in order to recognize the compassion and generosity of individual Canadians.

How will Canada's Typhoon Haiyan Relief Fund (matching fund) work?

  • For every eligible dollar donated by individual Canadians to registered Canadian charities in response to the impact of Typhoon Haiyan, the government will set aside one dollar for the Typhoon Haiyan Relief Fund.
  • The government will use the Typhoon Haiyan Relief Fund to provide assistance through international and Canadian humanitarian organizations by employing established channels and procedures.
  • To be counted for the purposes of the Typhoon Haiyan Relief Fund, donations from individual Canadians may not exceed $100,000 per individual and must be:
    • monetary in nature;
    • made to a registered Canadian charity that is receiving donations in response to the impact of Typhoon Haiyan;
    • specifically earmarked for response to Typhoon Haiyan; and
    • made between November 9 and December 23, 2013.
  • Registered charities declaring eligible donations must complete the declaration form. Forms must be received by DFATD on or before January 10, 2014, for donations to be counted toward the relief fund. To ensure that donations are eligible for the matching program, you should ensure that the:
    • donation complies with the conditions outlined above;
    • registered charity receiving the donation will be using the funds in response to the humanitarian crisis related to the impact of Typhoon Haiyan; and
    • registered charity receiving the donation will be declaring it to DFATD.
  • It is up to the registered Canadian charity to certify, through the declaration form (this will be made available on the DFATD website), that the donations declared are eligible. Registered Canadian charities are under no obligation to declare donations to DFATD if they are not satisfied that they meet eligibility requirements.

How will a registered Canadian charity use my donation?

  • A registered charity will use the donations it receives from individual Canadians to deliver its own relief projects or it will forward the donations to other eligible organizations with the capacity to deliver relief, early recovery, and reconstruction assistance in the Philippines.
  • Donations made by individual Canadians will provide immediate funding, over and above the Government of Canada’s assistance, to deliver humanitarian aid and relief.

How can I confirm whether a charity is registered?

For each dollar given to a registered charity for the relief efforts responding to Typhoon Haiyan, will the charity receive a matching dollar from the government?

  • The Typhoon Haiyan Relief Fund is separate from the funds raised by charities and will be administered separately by the Government of Canada. This means that a charity declaring the amount of eligible donations raised does not receive a matching dollar from the Government of Canada. For every eligible dollar donated by individual Canadians to registered Canadian charities, the government will set aside one dollar to the relief fund. The government will use the relief fund to support the efforts of experienced Canadian and international humanitarian organizations to meet immediate needs in response to Typhoon Haiyan.

How will the Government of Canada use the Typhoon Haiyan Relief Fund?

  • The Typhoon Haiyan Relief Fund has been set up to match the generosity of Canadians in order to support the efforts of experienced Canadian and international humanitarian and development organizations.
  • Decisions as to which organizations will receive funding will be based on the merit of their project proposals and their ability to deliver aid in the most timely, effective, and efficient manner possible.

Does this program follow the same principles used following the 2010 flooding in Pakistan, 2012 earthquake in Haiti, and 2012 food and nutrition crisis in the Sahel region?

  • Yes. The same criteria apply.

How do I ensure that my donation will be well spent toward the relief efforts in response to Typhoon Haiyan?

  • It is important for Canadians to make informed decisions about how their donations will be used. To do this, here are some questions to help guide your decisions:
    • How is the charity contributing to the relief efforts in response to Typhoon Haiyan?
    • How will the charity use donations to help the people affected by the humanitarian crisis in response to Typhoon Haiyan?
    • Is the charity conducting its own relief efforts on the ground in response to Typhoon Haiyan?
    • Has the charity worked in areas affected by Typhoon Haiyan, and if so, what did it do, and for how long?
    • If the charity has never worked in these areas, what experience does it have in carrying out humanitarian assistance in other developing countries?
    • If the charity is not working in areas affected by Typhoon Haiyan, where is your donation going?
  • Any questions regarding the use of the funds by the fundraising organizations should be addressed to the organizations themselves.
  • Please consult the Typhoon Haiyan Relief Fund webpage for more information.

How do I find registered Canadian charities that are responding to the impact of Typhoon Haiyan?

  • You should verify that the organization is a registered charity according to the Canada Revenue Agency, and you should contact the charity directly and try to get as much information as you can.
  • If you do not already have a charity in mind, a good starting point would be to check out the news reports on the humanitarian assistance efforts in response to Typhoon Haiyan. This will help you get a picture of the situation on the ground, and identify those organizations involved in the relief activities.

How will the Government of Canada ensure that donated money is used transparently and accountably?

  • Registered charities receiving donations for the purposes of humanitarian assistance efforts are accountable to their donors for the use of the funds they receive. Individuals are encouraged to ensure that the organizations to which they are donating are using the funds for humanitarian crisis relief.
  • The Typhoon Haiyan Relief Fund is separate from—not pooled with—the funds raised by charitable organizations. DFATD has monitoring, audit, and evaluation systems in place to ensure that its programs, including those financed through the relief fund, are implemented effectively.

Can Canadians send relief goods as a way of helping?

  • Canadians have always been known for their generosity. The best way for Canadians to help those affected by the crisis is to make a monetary donation to a reputable Canadian or international humanitarian organization that intends to use the funds for crisis relief.
  • Monetary contributions enable humanitarian partners to purchase needed goods locally. This saves valuable time and transportation costs. Goods are often less expensive when they are purchased locally, and this also helps to support the local economy.

How much money has Canada contributed to date?

  • As of November 20, the total Government of Canada contribution in response to the impact of Typhoon Haiyan is more than $20 million.
  • Through the announcements made by the Government of Canada, coupled with the generous contributions made by individual Canadians to registered Canadian charities to date ($19.6 million, according to a number of Canadian NGOs), the total Canadian contribution as of November 18 to help the people affected by Typhoon Haiyan is close to $40 million.
  • We anticipate this amount will only increase as donations from individual Canadians to registered Canadian charities continue to grow and are matched. Canadians have always demonstrated compassion and generosity, and can continue to donate until December 23.

What is Canada's long-term plan to help the Philippines beyond what it has already given?

  • Canada is supporting experienced humanitarian partners, including UN Agencies, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, and non-governmental organizations, to alleviate suffering and meet the basic needs of those affected by this crisis.
  • Our partners are working around the clock to provide emergency assistance such as food, medical care, shelter, water and sanitation, and other essential services, and have already begun their work on the ground. Given the scale of the devastation, it is clear that assisting so many people to return, rebuild, and re-establish their livelihoods will take time. Canada will continue to monitor the situation closely to determine how we can best support those affected by the crisis in going forward.
  • Prior to the typhoon, in fiscal year 2011–2012, Canada provided $21 million in official development assistance in the Philippines. This long-term development programming supports sustainable economic growth by improving the climate for investment and protecting the economic interests of the poor.
  • Canada also provided $1 million to the people of the Philippines after the earthquake that struck it in October 2013. Shortly after, Typhoon Haiyan slammed into the Philippines, hence this funding is currently also helping Typhoon-affected Filipinos.

What is Canada doing to help Canadian citizens affected by the typhoon?

  • We are attempting to contact Canadians in the affected areas by all available means, including telephone, text messaging, email, and social media channels. As well, we are in close contact with the families and friends in Canada of potentially affected Canadians to gather as much information as possible that could help locate Canadians in the Philippines.
  • We are liaising with local authorities in the Philippines to gather information regarding Canadians thought to have been in the affected areas.
  • On Monday, November 18, a consular team was deployed to Roxas City with the Canadian DART. It will provide advice and support for Canadian citizens and family members in the DART’s area of operation. This team will provide advice and support for Canadian citizens and family members in the DART’s area of operation.
  • Canadian consular teams have been deployed to Villamor Air Base near Manila, which is being used as a hub for flights from the affected regions.
  • The 24/7 Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa has increased the number of staff to answer phone calls and emails from concerned Canadians. Additional staff from Ottawa and Canadian missions in Asia has been deployed to the Philippines to assist affected Canadians on the ground.
  • We are also working with our international partners, such as the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom, to exchange information and to coordinate our efforts. As an example, the United States and Australia have offered to take Canadians on board their military aircraft flights out of Tacloban, and have allowed a consular officer from the Embassy of Canada to be on-site in Tacloban to assist Canadians and help them leave.

Whom do we contact to get information on our loved ones in the Philippines?

  • Canadian citizens in the Philippines who require emergency assistance should contact the Embassy of Canada in Manila at (63-2) 857-9000 or 1-800-1-110-0226 (toll-free within the Philippines only when using a landline). They can also contact DFATD’s 24/7 Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa by calling +1 613-996-8885 (collect calls are accepted where available). An email can also be sent to sos@international.gc.ca.
  • Friends and relatives in Canada concerned for Canadian citizens who they believe to be in the affected areas should contact Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada’s 24/7 Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa at 613-996-8885 (collect calls accepted) or 1-800-387-3124. They can also send an email to sos@international.gc.ca.

What is Canada doing to provide support to Filipinos who are temporarily working in or visiting Canada?

  • On November 13, Canada announced that, effective immediately, Canada will be prioritizing the processing of applications on request from Filipinos who are significantly and personally affected by Typhoon Haiyan.
  • Requests for extensions from visitors, international students, and temporary foreign workers who wish to extend their stay will be assessed in a compassionate and flexible manner.
  • In support of these measures, Citizenship and Immigration Canada has set up special email addresses and a dedicated phone line to respond to requests from applicants and their families.

For more information

For more information, please consult How Canadians Can Help.

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