January 02, 2005 15:12 ET

CIDA: Canadian Response to the Disaster in South and Southeast Asia



JANUARY 2, 2005 - 15:12 ET

CIDA: Canadian Response to the Disaster in South and
Southeast Asia

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(CCNMatthews - Jan. 2, 2004) - The Canadian government
is doubling its financial contribution to at least $80 million for the
international relief effort in response to the disaster caused by the
earthquake and tsunamis that swept through many countries in South and
Southeast Asia. Canada was one of the first donor countries to respond,
pledging $40 million for immediate humanitarian assistance and
longer-term relief.

The funds will be provided to organizations that are well established in
the affected areas and working to provide immediate assistance,
including proper sanitation and potable water, health care and
medicines, shelter, food, child protection, trauma counselling, and
family reunification. As of today, a total of $16.5 million has been
allocated, including:

- UNICEF ($3.5 million)

- International Federation of the Red Cross ($4.5 million)

- World Food Programme ($2 million)

- United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees ($1 million)

Contributions to Canadian non-governmental organizations include:

- Oxfam Canada ($700,000)

- World Vision ($600,000)

- CARE Canada ($500,000)

- Save the Children Canada ($400,000)

In addition, $900,000 has been made available to Canadian Embassies and
High Commissions in the affected countries to respond quickly to
initiatives proposed by local organizations.

More than $2.4 million has been allocated to deploy emergency relief
items sent on Canadian Forces planes. The first shipment of essential
supplies sent by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
landed in Sri Lanka on Friday. The emergency goods include plastic
sheeting, jerry cans and chlorination packets for water purification. A
second planeload of supplies landed today in Indonesia, and a third
shipment will be heading to the Maldives within the next 48 hours. The
shipments are being coordinated by the Red Cross and Red Crescent
societies in the affected countries.

The Government of Canada is also matching donations made by individual
Canadians to Canadian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) already
involved in responding to the disaster. These include the Canadian Red
Cross, CARE Canada, OXFAM Canada, OXFAM Quebec, World Vision, UNICEF,
Development and Peace, Doctors Without Borders, and Save the Children.
Donations will be matched retroactively to December 26, 2004, the date
of the earthquake and tsunamis. The program will be reassessed following
the UN donors' conference, which will take place in Geneva on January
11, 2005. Please visit the website for further details:

The remaining funds will be used to respond to upcoming appeals from
international aid organizations and longer-term challenges as needs are
identified, such as responses to health threats, as well as the early
stages of rehabilitation and reconstruction.

A multidisciplinary team of officials from National Defence, Foreign
Affairs, and CIDA is currently in Sri Lanka assessing the situation in
order to advise on additional Canadian assistance. The team will be
leaving shortly for Indonesia to conduct assessments on
disaster-affected areas in Sumatra.

The Minister of International Cooperation, Aileen Carroll, will attend
the core group of donor nations meeting in Jakarta on January 6 and
immediately after, will travel to disaster-affected areas in Sumatra.

Canadians-individuals, organizations, and at all levels of
government-have been extraordinarily generous in responding to this
tragedy. Donating cash to trusted partners is the most effective way for
Canadians to help.


Contact Information

    Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
    Media Relations Office
    (819) 953-6534 or 1-800-230-6349 (Toll free)