Minister of State Yelich Meets with Filipino-Canadian Community

November 14, 2013 - The Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State (Foreign Affairs and Consular), today met with the Filipino community in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and issued the following statement:

“On behalf of our government, I offer heartfelt condolences to those affected by the destruction caused by the passage of Typhoon Haiyan.

“My colleagues and I, including Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, Minister of National Defence Rob Nicholson, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Chris Alexander, and Minister of International Development and Minister for La Francophonie Christian Paradis, continue to explore ways to offer assistance to the Philippines to help address this devastating situation.

“Canada acted swiftly by providing an initial $5-million contribution of Canadian assistance in support of humanitarian organizations and by calling on Canadians to help support the relief effort and establishing a matching fund. The government has also deployed elements of the Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) and supported the Canadian Red Cross deployment of medical teams and a field hospital to help meet humanitarian needs in the Philippines. In addition, consular officials in Ottawa and in the Philippines are working around the clock to reach Canadians in the affected area and to provide assistance.

“Our government will continue to stand by all Filipino people, including Canadians of Filipino descent in Canada.

“When faced with adversity, Filipino-Canadians have shown resilience and pride by coming together to support friends and family in the Philippines.

“Canadians of all backgrounds also continue to show their compassion and generosity, and our government has pledged to match the eligible charitable donations made by Canadians in response to the typhoon.”

Canadian citizens in the Philippines requiring emergency consular assistance should contact the Canadian embassy in Manila at (02) 857-9000 or Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada’s 24/7 Emergency Watch and Response Centre by dialing 1-800-1-110-0226 (toll-free within the Philippines if calling from a landline) or 001-613-996-8885 (collect calls are accepted where available).

Relatives and friends in Canada concerned for Canadian citizens they believe to be in the affected area should contact Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada’s 24/7 Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa. They can call toll-free 1-800-387-3124 or 613-996-8885 (collect calls are accepted) or send an email to sos@international.gc.ca.

A backgrounder follows.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Adria Minsky
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of State (Foreign Affairs and Consular)
613-944-1291
Adria.Minsky@international.gc.ca

Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
613-995-1874
media@international.gc.ca
Follow us on Twitter: @DFATDCanada

Backgrounder - Chronology of Announcements by the Government of Canada in Response to Typhoon Haiyan

To date, Canada has acted in response to the unfolding crisis in the Philippines.

November 8: The government announced an allocation of $30,000 to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to help launch relief operations and meet the needs of those affected by the crisis.

November 9: The government announced $5 million to support relief efforts by humanitarian organizations working to meet the needs of the people affected by the typhoon. This fund will be used to provide emergency relief activities and will include the provision of emergency shelter, food, water, livelihood support and other essential services.

November 10: The government announced that it would match donations made by individual Canadians to registered Canadian charities working in the Philippines and other affected countries. For every eligible dollar donated by individual Canadians to registered Canadian charities until December 9, 2013, the government will set aside one dollar for the Typhoon Haiyan Relief Fund.

November 11: Prime Minister Stephen Harper spoke with President Benigno Aquino III of the Philippines and assured him that Canada stands ready to help and to offer support to the Philippines in responding to this disaster. The Prime Minister noted Canada’s contributions to date, as well as the deployment of the Interdepartmental Strategic Support Team to assess needs on the ground and identify potential response options.

November 12: The government announced the deployment of elements of the Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) to contribute to relief efforts by providing clean water, medical assistance and logistical support.

November 13: The government announced that it would prioritize the processing of immigration applications from Filipinos who are significantly and personally affected by Typhoon Haiyan. Canadians without travel documents as a result of the typhoon will have their applications expedited by the Canadian embassy in Manila.

November 13: Prime Minister Harper visited the Embassy of the Philippines to sign its Book of Condolences and announced afterward that DART will travel to Iloilo to address pressing needs in that area.

November 13: The government, with the Canadian Red Cross, announced the deployment of a 12-person medical team and an emergency field hospital to the Philippines to provide emergency health support for up to four months to the typhoon-affected population.