Canadian Government and Red Cross Deploy Field Hospital and Emergency Medical Teams to aid those impacted by Typhoon Haiyan

November 13, 2013

OTTAWA - Today, the Honourable Rob Nicholson, Minister of National Defence, on behalf of the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and Minister for La Francophonie, and accompanied by Mrs. Laureen Harper, announced the deployment of a Canadian Red Cross 12-person medical team and field hospital to provide urgently needed emergency health support in the Philippines.

"Typhoon Haiyan swept through the Philippines, leaving behind thousands of casualties and a path of destruction. Canada is deeply saddened by the tragic loss of life and has taken a leadership role in supporting those impacted," said Minister Nicholson. "To address the growing needs in this quickly evolving situation, we are working with the Canadian Red Cross to deploy an emergency field hospital and medical team to provide urgently needed health support services."

In June 2012, the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development entered into a Strategic Partnership with the Canadian Red Cross Society to strengthen Canada's humanitarian assistance capacity. Through this Partnership, the Canadian Red Cross has developed the ability to quickly and efficiently deploy field hospital Emergency Response Units and emergency medical teams, to provide emergency health support services to crisis-affected populations around the world.

"Thanks to the Government of Canada, we are able to quickly deploy our field hospital to help meet humanitarian needs in the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan," said Conrad Sauvé, Secretary General and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Red Cross. "The Philippine Red Cross has been working around the clock since the storm made landfall and we are proud to support their continued efforts responding to this disaster."

Canada committed $30,000 ahead of the typhoon to aid the Philippines in preparations. Immediately after it made landfall, on November 9th, Canada announced an initial contribution of $5 million to aid those impacted. Twenty-four hours later, in reaction to unprecedented level of damage, Canada launched the Typhoon Haiyan Relief Fund which will match eligible donations by individual Canadians dollar-for-dollar. On November 11, 2013, Canada deployed elements of the Disaster Assistance Response Team to further support relief efforts. The DART team will deploy in Iloilo, one of two major cities located on the Island of Panay. Iloilo was in the direct path of the typhoon.

"Canada responded quickly and offered all possible assistance to the Philippines in order to reduce suffering and save lives," said Minister Paradis. "Given the unprecedented level of damage to many regions of the Philippines, Canada has already deployed elements of the Canadian Armed Forces Disaster Assistance Response Team to increase the capacity on the ground to deal with the crisis. We will continue to monitor the situation and again urge Canadians to donate to the relief efforts."

Currently an estimated 11.3 million people have been affected by Typhoon Haiyan in nine regions across the Philippines and over 670,000 people are known to be displaced.

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For more information, 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

With Canada's support, announced today, the Canadian Red Cross (CRC) will be deploying a 12-person medical team and an emergency field hospital to provide urgently needed emergency health support for up to four months to the typhoon-affected population. The hospital is a self-contained general out-patient clinic that will have the capacity to serve a population of 150,000. It will run from 12-14 hours per day and will provide basic health and surgical care to up to 300 people per day, including vaccinations, rehydration, and maternal and child care. The hospital will be equipped with 74 inpatient beds for ongoing observation and care. It will also offer referral services to other health facilities. Along with the Canadian Red Cross medical team, local staff and volunteers will help to run the hospital.

On June 23, 2012, the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD) and the Canadian Red Cross (CRC) Society signed a Memorandum of Understanding outlining the broad parameters of a Strategic Partnership to increase cooperation between the two organizations to enhance Canada's humanitarian assistance delivery. As part of this Partnership, DFATD and the CRC Society have committed to collaborating on several new initiatives to increase Canada's capacity to provide timely and effective assistance to populations facing crisis-situations as well as to build the capacity and resiliency of communities to support local responses to local emergencies.

The Strategic Partnership focuses on supporting and strengthening the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement's regional and global humanitarian response systems, strengthening the response capacity of first responders on the ground, and raising awareness of Canada's role in meeting the needs of those most vulnerable following crises, including our commitment and contribution to humanitarian assistance.

Canada's Support to Date

In addition to working with the CRC on the deployment of its field hospital and medical team, the Honourable John Baird, Minister of Foreign Affairs, issued a statement on November 11 announcing the deployment of elements of the Canadian Armed Forces Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) to support Government of Canada relief efforts in response to Typhoon Haiyan.

The DART is a team of Canadian Forces personnel deployed as a stabilization tool that provides a bridge following the first week of a disaster to meet medium term needs until the affected government or humanitarian agencies can restore the essential services that the DART provides. It can also provide basic non-surgical medical assistance and clean water through its water purification units.

The Canadian Armed Forces component of the Government of Canada's relief efforts so far includes:

  • six DND/CAF personnel supporting the eight-person ISST and 15 CAF personnel representing the Humanitarian Assistance Reconnaissance Team (HART) on the ground in the Philippines; and
  • a 43-person Command and Control element of the DART, including medical, logistical, and defence and security personnel that has been deployed to the region.

On November 9, 2013, Canada also announced $5 million in support to humanitarian organizations striving to meet the needs of the people affected by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. In addition, on November 10, 2013, Canada announced the Typhoon Haiyan Relief Fund to match the donations made by individual Canadians to registered Canadian charities and on November 8, Canada made an allocation of $30,000 to the International Federation of the Red Cross.