May 14, 2009 15:56 ET

Canada to Support Displaced Civilians in Pakistan

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 14, 2009) - The Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation, today announced funding to assist civilians displaced by ongoing fighting in Pakistan.

"Due to the most recent escalation of violence in the Swat District of Pakistan, the plight of those fleeing the conflict area calls for a humanitarian response for basic essentials, including food and health care," stated Minister Oda. "Our government's support will go to humanitarian organizations that have direct access to displaced populations and able to help those in great need."

The Government of Canada, through the Canadian International Development Agency, is responding to the emergency appeals from the World Food Program and the International Committee of the Red Cross. While access to the conflict zone is an ongoing concern, these organizations are currently providing emergency assistance to affected populations and are working to ensure full, safe and unhindered access to those in need.

"Canada is deeply concerned about the impact of the conflict on the safety and security of civilians", stated the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lawrence Cannon. "We continue to call upon all parties to respect international humanitarian law and ensure the protection of all civilians".

At least 360,000 people have fled the fighting and more are expected to do so in the coming weeks. This adds to the estimated 550,000 people who have already been internally displaced since August 2008 as a result of late summer floods, counter-terrorism operations and violent clashes between the Taliban and tribal groups in northwestern Pakistan.

Canada is providing $5 million for food assistance, access to proper health care, and temporary shelter to the conflict-affected populations in Pakistan. This is in addition to $3 million allocated in October 2008 for humanitarian assistance for those affected by the crisis.



The Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation, announced a response of $5 million to humanitarian partners with access to the conflict-afflicted populations. These funds aim to ensure that civilians affected by the armed conflict have food, essential household items and access to appropriate health care services.

The $3 million provided to the World Food Programme will ensure general food distribution to approximately 800,000 displaced persons and prevent malnutrition among infants, young children, and pregnant and lactating mothers.

The $2 million provided to The International Committee of the Red Cross will ensure that 120,000 displaced persons receive essential household items, and up to 30,000 persons receive basic necessary health care.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of International Cooperation
    Michelle Coates
    Press Secretary
    Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
    Media Relations Office