October 26, 2005 11:29 ET

Canada Boosts South Asia Earthquake Relief

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 26, 2005) - International Cooperation Minister Aileen Carroll and Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew today announced an additional $20 million for humanitarian assistance, relief and reconstruction efforts in the areas affected by the earthquake in South Asia. The funding, which will be provided by the Canadian International Development Agency, is in addition to the cost of deploying the Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) and the $20.3 million previously announced by the Government of Canada in response to the earthquake. To date, the Government of Canada has earmarked more than $57 million for humanitarian assistance, relief and reconstruction efforts.

"The situation in Pakistan remains one of great concern," said Minister Carroll. "Today's announcement will address immediate needs, including the housing situation as winter approaches. Along with other donors, we are looking at the different options to provide winter shelter and to plan the reconstruction of homes and communities. Canadians have been very generous in the face of this crisis, and I urge anyone considering a donation to make it by the end of today, as the donation will be matched by the government in the special fund we have created for this purpose."

"In the face of so much devastation, Canada is continuing to work closely with local authorities and international agencies to see what more Canada can do to assist as part of a broader international effort," said Minister Pettigrew. "The scope of the disaster is much larger than first understood. We have heard the appeal for assistance and we are ready to do our part. We urge other donors to do the same."

The funding announced today will be allocated as follows:

- an additional $10 million to the South Asia Earthquake Matching
Fund, bringing it to a total of $15 million. The Government of
Canada previously announced it would match all donations by
individual Canadians by placing an equivalent amount in a special
fund for relief and reconstruction. The deadline for individual
contributions is October 26, 2005;

- $8 million in response to the revised flash appeal launched today
by the United Nations. Part of this will pay for helicopters to
bring winter shelter, medical services and essential supplies to
the affected population as quickly as possible;

- $1 million to the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red
Crescent Society to assist 81,000 families (570,000 individuals)
for six months in the disaster affected region, and;

- $1 million to the International Committee of the Red Cross to
assist 30,000 families (150,000 individuals) in Pakistan-
administered Kashmir until the end of 2005.

For more information on the Government of Canada's response to the South Asian disaster, please visit:

Funding for this initiative was provided for in the February 2005 Federal Budget and is therefore built into the existing fiscal framework.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of International Cooperation
    Andrew Graham
    Director of communications
    (819) 953-6238
    Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
    Media Relations Office
    (819) 953-6534 (electronic version of document)
    Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
    Sebastien Theberge
    Director of Communications
    (613) 995-1851
    Foreign Affairs Canada
    Media Relations Office
    (613) 995-1874