Humanitarian affairs is an important element of Canada's foreign policy, and is linked directly with efforts to prevent or mitigate violent conflict and natural disasters. The Permanent Mission of Canada cooperates closely with humanitarian organizations in Geneva, including the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), and the Red Cross Movement including the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC). We work closely with the emergency units of UN agencies and programmes as well as with a number of international non-governmental organizations. As a donor country, Canada channels about C$150 million through Geneva in favour of poverty alleviation, human security or emergency relief.
Useful Canadian Links:
- Canadian International Development Agency
- Citizenship and Immigration Canada - The Canadian Refugee System
- Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada - Humanitarian Affairs
High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees' main functions are to offer refugees international protection, seek lasting solutions to their problems and provide them with material assistance in the form of food, shelter, medical assistance, education and other social services.
Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs' (OCHA) aim is to mobilize and coordinate effective and principled humanitarian action in partnership with national and international actors in order to: alleviate human suffering in natural disasters and complex emergencies; promote preparedness and prevention efforts to render international assistance effective, timely and appropriate; facilitate sustainable solutions; and, advocate for the rights of people in need.
International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement
The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is comprised of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and more than 181 member Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies worldwide.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is an impartial, neutral and independent organization whose exclusively humanitarian mission is to protect the lives and dignity of victims of war and internal violence and to provide them with assistance. It also endeavours to prevent suffering by promoting and strengthening humanitarian law and universal humanitarian principles.
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies is the world's largest humanitarian organization. The Federation carries out relief operations to assist victims of disasters, and combines this with development work to strengthen the capacities of its member National Societies.
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