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  • The magnitude of the destruc­tion across many regions of the Philippines is nearly impossible  to com­prehend,” said Minis­ter Paradis. “I am truly proud to have wit­nessed the compas­sion and dedication shown by Canadian humanitar­ian workers who have travelled to the Philippines to help those in the worst of circumstances.”

    Minister Paradis visited some of the hardest-hit areas of the coun­try. In Ormoc, he toured the Ca­nadian Red Cross field hospital, which is working closely with local hospital staff and other emergen­cy health care providers to ensure that more than 100,000 people have access to a wide variety of essential health services, includ­ing surgery, medicine, maternal and child care, and outpatient services. The Minister also met with members of Canada’s Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART), which has been deployed to Roxas City to contribute to re­lief efforts by providing clean wa­ter, medical assistance and logis­tical support.

    “From the onset of this trag­edy, Canada has played a leader­ship role in providing humanitar­ian assistance where it is needed most,” added Minister Paradis. “As we approach Christmas, I encourage Canadians to keep donating to registered Canadian charities, and our government will match eligible donations, dol­lar-for-dollar, right up to Decem­ber 23, 2013.”

    While in the Philippines, Min­ister Paradis also met with local government and United Nations officials, as well as with Canadian non-governmental and interna­tional humanitarian organiza­tions, to discuss the ongoing challenges in delivering humani­tarian assistance on the ground. The typhoon and subsequent storm surges have severely dam­aged local infrastructure, includ­ing roads, ports, and airports, which is impeding access to many areas.

    Backgrounder
    Canada’s response to Typhoon Hai­yan
    The Government of Canada has taken decisive action to provide emergency relief to the victims of Typhoon Haiyan. These measures include:

    • providing an initial allocation of $30,000 to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies before the typhoon made landfall to help launch relief operations;
    • providing $5 million in immediate support to humanitarian organizations im­mediately following the typhoon for emer­gency relief activities;
    • deploying more than 300 members of the Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) of the Canadian Armed Forces to address pressing humanitarian assistance needs in the provinces of Iloilo and Capiz, including opening/clearing roads, provid­ing clean water using reverse-osmosis purification units, providing engineering support by repairing generators at hospi­tals and assessing bridges, and providing medical assistance and logistical support;
    • deploying, with the Canadian Red Cross, a field hospital and medical team to provide emergency health support in Ormoc, in the province of Leyte, which opened on November 21;
    • creating a matching fund by which the Government of Canada will contribute a dollar for each eligible dollar donated by in­dividual Canadians to registered Canadian charities, and extending it from December 9 to December 23, 2013. Canada also an­nounced an initial $15 million, which will count against that fund;
    • deploying relief supplies from Cana­da’s emergency stockpile, including ap­proximately 3,000 tents, 16,000 blankets, 1.3 million water puri~ cation tablets, 5,000 shelter kits, 20,000 jerry cans, 19,750 tarps, and 4,400 buckets; shipment of these supplies began November 20, 2013, and will help meet the basic needs of as many as 5,000 families, or 25,000 people, for three months; and
    • deploying two Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers as part of the In­terpol Incident Response Team, which is currently on the ground in Manila to help assess the requirements for the recovery and identification of the victims of Ty­phoon Haiyan and to coordinate national and international Disaster Victim Identifi­cation efforts.

    In addition, Canada will be prioritizing the processing of Filipino applications on request from those who are significantly and personally affected by Typhoon Hai­yan. Requests from Filipino citizens who are temporarily in Canada and wish to ex­tend their stay will be assessed in a com­passionate and flexible manner. Canadi­ans without travel documents as a result of the typhoon will have their applications expedited by the Canadian Embassy in Manila.

    Prime Minister Harper also spoke with Benigno Aquino III, President of the Re­public of the Philippines, on November 11, to extend his heartfelt condolences to the people of the Philippines, and to ofer sup­port to the Government of the Philippines in the aftermath of the natural disaster.

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