Statement by Minister Paradis: Deployment of Canada's emergency stockpile

November 20, 2013

Good morning everyone.

And thank you for joining us here today.

I want to thank our humanitarian partners in particular.

CARE Canada, Save the Children Canada and Médecins Sans Frontière Canada, who are here with us today.

But also, the numerous other groups that have been working to save lives even since before the typhoon hit last week.

Some of you have heard me speak of the deep respect I have for these organizations following the tragic events in Lac Megantic this summer.

When I arrived just hours after the accident the Canadian Red Cross was already there.

And they stayed there.

Helping people get through the worst experience of their lives.

And they are doing the same for the people of the Philippines right now.

On behalf of all Canadians, I thank them all for their dedication and their compassion.

Canada continues to play a leadership role in the relief efforts underway in the Philippines.

We were there before the Typhoon hit with funds to help with preparations.

24 hours after Haiyan made landfall we made an initial contribution of $5 million to address immediate needs.

This was followed by the launch of the Relief Fund where our Government will match private donations from individuals – dollar for dollar.

And an additional $15 million, committed this week as part of that fund.

These monetary contributions are on top of the hardware and personnel we have dispatched.

This includes the Canadian Red Cross emergency field hospital and medical team who are on the ground providing emergency care.

And the Disaster Assistance Response Team that is providing clean water, medical assistance and logistical support. Over 4 million people have been displaced, with more than 1 million from the region served by DART alone.

Today we are deploying our emergency stockpile of relief supplies.

We are sending tents, blankets, water purification tablets, shelter kits, and other emergency supplies to the hardest-hit regions.

These items will help to meet the basic needs of a minimum of 5,000 families, or 25,000 people, for three months.

We have been in close contact with our humanitarian partners on the ground and the Philippine government since the very beginning.

Médecins Sans Frontières (Canada), CARE (Canada) and Save the Children (Canada), working in close coordination with Philippine authorities, will now be able to receive and distribute the relief supplies where they are most needed.

With this latest initiative, Canada has now contributed over $25 million to support typhoon relief.

Our humanitarian partners are using these funds to provide emergency shelter, food, water and sanitation, health care, protection and other essential services.

Our Government continues to stand with the Filipino-Canadians that are desperately waiting for news from their loved ones.

And most particularly with those who have received the worst news of all.

Know that all Canadians stand beside you now.

With incredible generosity, Canadian individuals and businesses have already donated nearly $20 million to the Typhoon Haiyan Relief Fund.

Our government will match eligible donations so I encourage all Canadians to keep giving.

Canada will continue to follow this situation closely.

And we will continue to work with our dedicated partners to meet the needs of those on the ground.

Thank you.