Canada Responds to the Situation in Iraq

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Humanitarian Assistance

On September 4, 2014, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, on behalf of the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, announced a further $7 million in humanitarian assistance for relief supplies, emergency shelter and urgent health care for thousands of civilians in northern Iraq as well as support to humanitarian organizations on the ground.

This $7-million allocation is in addition to the $5 million in humanitarian support recently announced by Minister Paradis.

Of this new $7-million allocation, $5 will provide: 

  • Kits with non-food items, including mattresses, plastic sheeting, hygiene kits, blankets, solar lamps and cooking sets;
  • Access to safe drinking water, sanitation facilities and education to raise awareness on hygiene and water conservation;
  • Support to meet imminent additional winterization needs of internally displaced families; and,
  • Additional support to meet emergency survival needs of internally displaced people, including medicines, clothing and money to pay for rental housing 

This remaining $2 million of the allocation will provide: 

  • Primary health-care services with integrated mental-health programming provided at camp-based clinics and mobile medical units;
  • Mental-health and community-outreach services; and,
  • Essential medical commodities to existing health facilities. 

On August 29 2014, Minister Paradis announced an initial deployment of relief supplies from Canada’s emergency stockpile to address the immediate needs of conflict-affected people in northern Iraq. 

Canada’s stockpile, which is managed by the Canadian Red Cross, is comprised of relief items designed to meet the basic needs of crisis-affected populations, including tents, blankets, kitchen sets, hygiene kits, and jerry cans.

Canada’s previous assistance package of $5 million announced by Minister Paradis on August 10 has been allocated to four experienced humanitarian partners active on the ground: 

  • Development and Peace: $1,000,000;
  • International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC): $1,750,000;
  • Save the Children Canada: $1,250,000; and
  • Mercy Corps: $1,000,000. 

This support will address the immediate humanitarian needs of those affected by the recent civil unrest, which is currently estimated at 1.3 million people. 

Since the beginning of 2014, Canada has allocated more than $28 million to respond to humanitarian needs in Iraq. In June 2014, Iraq was added to the list of Canada’s development country partners.


On September 15 2014, the Honourable Rob Nicholson, Minister of National Defence, announced strategic airlift support for military supplies to Iraq from the Czech Republic, including small-arms ammunition to assist the Iraqi security forces in protecting civilians from the terrorist threat presented by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird was in Baghdad on September 3, 2014, to meet with government officials and discuss the critical humanitarian and security situation in Iraq.

Minister Baird announced a contribution of $15 million in security programming that will directly benefit the people of Iraq. This will include:

  • $10 million in non-lethal security assistance for equipment such as helmets, body armour and logistics-support vehicles to assist security forces combating ISIL; and
  • $5 million to support regional efforts to limit the movement of foreign fighters into Iraq and Syria.

The non-lethal support announced will be provided through the Government of Canada’s Counter-Terrorism Capacity Building Program (CTCBP) and Global Peace and Security Fund (GPSF). The CTCBP will fund the project limiting the movement of foreign fighters.

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