Canada responds to measles outbreak in Central African Republic

June 20, 2013 - Ottawa - Canada is providing immediate assistance to hundreds of thousands of people in the Central African Republic affected by a measles outbreak, announced the Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of International Cooperation.

"Canada is working quickly to respond to the measles outbreak in the Central African Republic," said Minister Fantino. "Our government's commitment to the quick and effective delivery of humanitarian assistance to those most in need speaks to core Canadian values."

Measles outbreaks have been reported in several regions of the Central African Republic, but the most serious spread of the disease has been in the capital city, Bangui. Significant population movements toward the capital due to widespread violence and looting has increased the risk of a large-scale epidemic. From January to April 2013, more than 63 cases of measles were reported in Bangui.

"Canada's assistance will support a vital measles immunization and treatment campaign, particularly targeting children under five years old, in the Central African Republic's capital, Bangui," said Minister Fantino. "Canada is a compassionate neighbour, and our work in developing countries is an expression of our generosity."

Canada's support, in response to a request by the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, will help the Central African Republic Red Cross Society take part in a campaign to provide immunization, deworming treatments, and vitamin A to young children affected by the measles outbreak.

Economic Action Plan 2013 reaffirms Canada's commitment to humanitarian work, such as this support for the people of the Central African Republic. The new Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development will maintain the mandate of poverty alleviation and humanitarian assistance.

- 30 -

For more information, media should contact:

Daniel Bezalel Richardsen
Press Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation
Telephone: 819-953-6238
Email: danielbezalel.richardsen@acdi-cida.gc.ca

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