August 12, 2008 13:41 ET

Government of Canada to Assist Victims of Conflicts in Georgia

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 12, 2008) - The Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation, announced today that Canada is providing a total of up to $1,000,000 to assist people affected by the recent fighting in Georgia. This assistance includes $500,000 in response to an Emergency Appeal launched by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The remaining funds will be channeled through trusted humanitarian partners based on assessments of the needs on the ground.

"The Government of Canada is deeply concerned for the welfare of those affected by the violence in South Ossetia," said Minister Oda. "In response to an emergency appeal by the Red Cross, Canada will contribute to international efforts to alleviate the suffering of those on the ground, by providing basic needs such as safe water supplies and emergency medical care."

Yesterday Prime Minister Harper condemned Russia's incursions into Georgian territory and stated that it is imperative that Russia respects the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia.

"Canada reiterates its call for all parties to ensure respect for international humanitarian law and facilitate full, safe and unhindered humanitarian access," added the Honourable David Emerson, Minister of Foreign Affairs.

CIDA's funding to the Red Cross will support efforts to assist refugees and internally displaced people in Georgia and Russia through the provision of emergency medical care, safe water supplies, and basic items, such as blankets, clothing, and hygiene supplies.

"We would like to thank CIDA for this generous contribution," said Dennis Fair, Canadian Red Cross international programs director for Ontario. "This funding will help meet the ongoing emergency needs of approximately 50,000 people affected by the conflict. Today, the ICRC is flying 15 tonnes of medicine and medical supplies to Georgia to help treat those injured."

The sudden outbreak of hostilities between Georgia and Russia over the Georgian province of South Ossetia, on 8 August, has led to the displacement of up to 113,000 people from conflict zones in South Ossetia and other parts of Georgia. It is estimated that as many as 3,000 people have been killed in the fighting.

Contact Information

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