Statement by Minister Paradis on Canadians' donations of more than $85 million to Typhoon Haiyan relief efforts
April 4, 2014 – The Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Cooperation and La Francophonie, today issued the following statement:
“Last November, Typhoon Haiyan—locally known as Yolanda—tore through the Philippines, setting off landslides, knocking out power in several provinces, and cutting off communications in the country's central region. More than 6,000 people were killed and 16 million were affected. It was a tragedy of unimaginable proportions, even for a country accustomed to dealing with tropical storms.
“From the onset, Canada played a leading role in international relief efforts. The day the typhoon struck, our Government provided funding to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to help launch relief operations. Within 24 hours, we had committed additional funding to humanitarian partners on the ground, so they could quickly distribute food, water, medicine, shelter, hygiene kits and other essential services to those who needed it most. Canada deployed the Canadian Armed Forces’ Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) to provide support to the relief efforts with much-needed water, sanitation and logistical support, and to help clean up debris.
“As a Canadian, I could not be more proud of our response to the typhoon and the difference our collective efforts are making to the lives of Filipinos. In many ways, this horrific ordeal brought our Filipino-Canadian community—and the rest of our country—closer together. Within days, Canadians had set up fundraising drives in schools, churches, hospitals and local businesses from coast to coast to coast—and Canadians gave generously.
“Eligible donations to registered Canadian charities totalled more than $85 million. As promised, our Government matched those donations through the Typhoon Haiyan Relief Fund and allocated it to experienced Canadian and international organizations responding to the crisis.
“Canada responded to the disaster in close collaboration with the Government of the Philippines, Canada’s humanitarian partners, and the Filipino-Canadian community across the country. Prime Minister Stephen Harper reached out to the community to pay his respects and about three weeks after the storm, I had the opportunity to visit the hardest-hit parts of the Philippines myself. The people I met and the images I saw will stay with me forever.
“We know that recovery in the Philippines will take years, but I can assure all Canadians and Filipinos—both in Canada and in the Philippines—that our Government will be there for the long haul. Together, we will persevere and overcome the impact of this unprecedented storm.ˮ
Minister of International Development and La Francophonie.
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