October 17, 2006 12:27 ET

CIDA: Canada Increases Commitment to Rebuild Earthquake-Struck Communities in Pakistan

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 17, 2006) - The Honourable Josee Verner, Minister of International Cooperation and Minister for La Francophonie and Official Languages announced today that Canada, through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), will provide an additional $40 million for reconstruction activities in Pakistan, a country hit hard by the October 8, 2005 earthquake in South Asia. Minister Verner made the announcement during a meeting with the Honourable Mohammadmian Soomro, Chairman of the Senate of Pakistan.

"This additional funding will help to rebuild schools and provide assistance for other priority reconstruction projects," said Minister Verner. "Canada will continue to support Pakistan through the recovery and reconstruction phase that is now underway. We are monitoring our assistance to ensure that it is well managed, reaches those most in need, and is effective over the long term."

"This support from Canada will make a difference. It will help my country restore vital services such as water and sanitation, and rebuild schools and hospitals that were destroyed in the earthquake last year," added Mr. Soomro. The government and people of Pakistan are grateful for the continuing Canadian assistance in this regard."

Today's announcement is in addition to earlier funds already committed for humanitarian assistance, relief and recovery efforts in response to the earthquake in Pakistan. With donations of nearly $28 million made by individual Canadians through the South Asia Earthquake Matching Fund, matched dollar-for-dollar by the Government of Canada, Canada's response totals approximately $130 million.

CIDA was quick to support the relief and recovery efforts undertaken in the area by United Nations agencies, the Red Cross and Canadian non-governmental organizations. Helicopters partially paid for by Canada delivered nearly 10,000 metric tons of food, as well as clothing, medicine, blankets, emergency tents, and household items to the earthquake-affected communities. Support for basic health care and emergency shelter helped save lives by preventing the spread of disease and protecting people from the harsh winter conditions.

Since then, CIDA has helped improve the living conditions of the affected communities, and mitigate the effects of future disasters. For example, Canada has funded six housing reconstruction centres which offer training on earthquake-resistant guidelines and building techniques. In the coming years, schools built with Canadian funds will meet these standards.

For more details on Canada's assistance following the October 8, 2005 earthquake in South Asia, please consult CIDA website at the following address:

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of International Cooperation
    Pascale St-Pierre
    Press Secretary
    Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
    Media Relations Office