Canada Supports International Aid Efforts for Libya

March 8, 2011

Today, the Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation, announced further details of Canada's humanitarian assistance for those affected by the continued crisis in Libya.

As the crisis continues in Libya, the United Nations has completed its assessment of the urgent humanitarian needs of the people affected by the conflict. According to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), close to 200,000 people have fled the country and crossed into Tunisia and Egypt.

"Canada is responding to the recent United Nations appeal indicating that the immediate needs of those fleeing Libya are increasing," said Minister Oda. "Our government is responding by helping to provide much needed food, water, and medical services to those fleeing Libya."

Canada, through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), will support the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in its efforts to provide food assistance, ensuring 1,000,000 of the most vulnerable people affected by the upheaval in Libya will have continued access to basic nutritious food.

Canada's support for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) includes the provision of basic services, supplies and protection to 90,000 of those displaced in other countries.

Working with the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Canadian Red Cross Society (CRCS), Canada will increase access to emergency medical care, basic humanitarian needs, such as access to water, food and sanitation, and the repatriation of people displaced by the crisis. Canada's support to the Red Cross will ensure the delivery of needed emergency supplies, including jerry cans and thermal blankets, into transit camps.

Today's announcement sets out how Canada will fulfill its commitment to provide $5 million in humanitarian assistance for the people of Libya, as announced by Prime Minister Harper on March 3.



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Information:

Justin Broekema
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of International Cooperation
Telephone: 819-953-6238

Media Relations Office
Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
Telephone: 819-953-6534
Email: media@acdi-cida.gc.ca

Backgrounder

On March 3, Prime Minister Harper announced that Canada was committing up to $5 million to help meet the most urgent needs of those affected by the crisis in Libya. 

After completing an assessment of the needs of those affected by the on-going conflict in Libya, the United Nations issued an international appeal for support. Today's announcement sets out how Canada's response to this most recent UN appeal and to an International Red Cross appeal fulfills the commitment announced last week. 

CIDA will support UN humanitarian agencies and the International Red Cross in their work to provide food, safe drinking water, medical care, emergency shelter, and protection. 

Canada's response announced today will contribute to the following organizations:

  • United Nations World Food Programme
    • To meet basic food assistance needs of an estimated 1 million individuals in Libya, Egypt and Tunisia over the next three months. ($1,500,000)
  • United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
    • To provide protection and assistance with such supplies as tents, blankets, mattresses, as well as counselling services for an initial three months, to an estimated 90,000 individuals crossing the border. ($1,250,000)
  • International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
    • To increase access to emergency medical care, basic humanitarian needs, such as access to water, food and sanitation, and the repatriation of people displaced by the crisis. The funding will also provide emergency medical and other basic humanitarian support, including the set-up of medical teams to treat the wounded. ($1,350,000)
  • Canadian Red Cross Society (CRCS)
    • To provide humanitarian relief supplies over the next three months including shipping emergency items such as 1,000 jerry cans and 7,305 mid-thermal blankets from the Dubai warehouse to Dejerba, Tunisia and restocking the Dubai warehouse. ($ 75,000)
  • International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC)
    • To provide immediate food, water, shelter, non-food items and emergency medical support. ($250,000)
  • International Organization for Migration (IOM)
    • To provide improved access to support services and repatriation opportunities. ($500,000)


Today's announcement of Canada's response to the recent appeals builds on the previous announced support to the people in Libya and brings the total Canadian response to $5 million.