Minister Paradis to travel to the Philippines

November 25, 2013 - OTTAWA – The Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and Minister for La Francophonie, will travel to the Philippines from November 26 to 28, 2013, to witness the situation on the ground first hand, meet with local officials as well as Canadian and international humanitarian partners, and observe the effectiveness and impact of Canadian assistance.

During his trip, the Minister will travel to some of the hardest-hit areas of the country, including Tacloban, Ormoc, and Roxas City, to survey the damage caused by the typhoon and visit Canadian supported humanitarian initiatives that are assisting the most vulnerable.

In Tacloban, Minister Paradis will meet with partners delivering humanitarian assistance to those impacted by the storm. In Ormoc, he will tour the Canadian Red Cross field hospital that is providing basic health and surgical care for the typhoon-affected population. The Minister will also meet with members of Canada’s Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART), which has been deployed to Roxas City to contribute to relief efforts by providing clean water, medical assistance, and logistical support.

Typhoon Haiyan slammed into the Philippines on Friday, November 8, 2013, causing widespread devastation.  Currently, an estimated 13 million people have been affected by the typhoon in nine regions across the Philippines, and more than 4 million people are known to be displaced. The number of casualties continues to increase. Many cities have experienced widespread destruction, with more than one million homes damaged. Electricity and water supplies are not functioning in many affected areas.

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For more information or to organize an interview media should contact:

Margaux Stastny, Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of International Development and Minister for La Francophonie
Telephone: 819-953-6238
Email: margaux.stastny@international.gc.ca

Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD)
Telephone: 819-995-1874
Email: media@international.gc.ca
Follow us on Twitter: @DFATDCanada

Backgrounder - Canada’s response to Typhoon Haiyan

The Government of Canada has taken decisive action to provide emergency relief to the victims of Typhoon Haiyan. These measures include:

  • providing an initial allocation of $30,000 to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies before the typhoon made landfall to help launch relief operations;
  • providing $5 million in immediate support to humanitarian organizations immediately following the typhoon for emergency relief activities;
  • deploying more than 300 members of the Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) of the Canadian Armed Forces to address pressing humanitarian assistance needs in the provinces of Iloilo and Capiz, including opening/clearing roads, providing clean water using reverse-osmosis purification units, providing engineering support by repairing generators at hospitals and assessing bridges, and providing medical assistance and logistical support;
  • deploying, with the Canadian Red Cross, a field hospital and medical team to provide emergency health support in Ormoc, in the province of Leyte, which opened on November 21;
  • creating a matching fund by which the Government of Canada will contribute a dollar for each eligible dollar donated by individual Canadians to registered Canadian charities until December 9, 2013, and announcing an initial $15 million, which will count against that fund;
  • deploying relief supplies from Canada’s emergency stockpile, including approximately 3,000 tents, 16,000 blankets, 1.3 million water purification tablets, 5,000 shelter kits, 20,000 jerry cans, 19,750 tarps, and 4,400 buckets; shipment of these supplies began November 20, 2013, and will help meet the basic needs of as many as 5,000 families, or 25,000 people, for three months; and
  • deploying two Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers as part of the Interpol Incident Response Team, which is currently on the ground in Manila to help assess the requirements for the recovery and identification of the victims of Typhoon Haiyan and to coordinate national and international Disaster Victim Identification efforts.

In addition, Canada will be prioritizing the processing of Filipino applications on request from those who are significantly and personally affected by Typhoon Haiyan. 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 Benigno Aquino III, President of the Republic of the Philippines, 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.