CHRISTIAN Paradis, Minister of International Development, and Rob Nicholson, Minister of Foreign Affairs, on Monday announced that the Government of Canada has established the Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund.
“Canadians have consistently shown that they are willing to help those most in need. To support their generosity, the Government of Canada will match their contributions dollar for dollar,” said Paradis. “This fund will provide effective and accountable financial support to experienced Canadian and international humanitarian and development partner organizations working on humanitarian assistance, early recovery and reconstruction efforts in the affected areas of Nepal.”
“Canadian officials are working closely with their counterparts in Nepal and India to help Canadian citizens in the region,” said Nicholson. “Canada will continue to work with its partners to assess needs and ensure that our assistance goes where it can help the most—and that it gets there as quickly as possible.”
For every eligible donation made by individual Canadians to registered Canadian charities between April 25 and May 25, the Government of Canada will contribute an equivalent amount to the Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund. This matching contribution will support humanitarian, early recovery and reconstruction assistance in Nepal through projects undertaken by Canada’s international humanitarian and non-governmental partners responding to the earthquake according to established channels and procedures.
The Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund is separate from the funds raised by charities and will be administered by the Government of Canada.
Paradis also took the opportunity to announce additional support for the deployment of relief supplies from the emergency stockpile of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFTAD) to meet the immediate needs of people affected by the earthquake.
NICHOLSON on Tuesday issued the following statement:
ON behalf of the Prime Minister and all Canadians, we join the rest of the world in mourning the tragic loss of life that has occurred in Nepal and throughout the region as a result of Saturday’s earthquake and subsequent aftershocks.
Thousands of people have died and many thousands more are injured. We extend our sincere sympathies to the families as well as the friends of those who have lost their lives or are affected by this tragedy.
Canadians have never sat on the sidelines during times of crisis and need. That is why the Government of Canada was swift to take action immediately. To date, officials on the ground and in Ottawa—assisted by the Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD) Emergency Watch and Response Centre—have been working around the clock since the earthquake hit to locate all Canadians in the region, and to ensure that these Canadians are safe and receive the appropriate assistance and care. To date, an additional eight consular resources have arrived in Kathmandu, with two more en route and four more scheduled to deploy in the coming days.
We are working with our partners and allies to ensure the safe evacuation of Canadians to neighbouring countries. A Canadian consular service point has been established at the Phora Durbar American Club, located in central Kathmandu (near the Thamel neighborhood). Canadian officials are helping to identify commercial flights and are working on plans to evacuate Canadians to New Delhi using Department of National Defence flights. Canadians not able to reach the American Club, or who want more information on evacuation plans should contact the High Commission of Canada in New Delhi, India, or DFATD’s Emergency Watch and Response Centre.
[Tuesday], the Minister of International Development Christian Paradis announced that the Government of Canada has partnered with the Canadian Red Cross to support the deployment of an emergency health-care unit that will have the capacity to provide urgent care for up to 200 people per day.
[Monday], the Minister and I also announced the creation of the Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund. For every eligible dollar donated by individual Canadians to registered Canadian charities in response to the Nepal earthquake from April 25 to May 25, 2015, the government will set aside one dollar for the Relief Fund. The Government of Canada will use the money set aside for the Relief Fund to provide assistance through international and Canadian humanitarian and development organizations using DFATD channels and procedures.
Canada has taken swift action on several fronts. Other initiatives announced [Monday] include sending hundreds of emergency travel documents to the region to quickly assist Canadians that may require replacement documents, as well as the accelerated processing of existing visa applications already in the system from affected regions. Consideration will also be given to expedite or extend visitor visas, student visas and work visas in Canada. We also announced the deployment of relief supplies from the emergency stockpile to meet the immediate needs of people affected by the earthquake.
On Sunday, April 26, Prime Minister Harper authorized the deployment of an assessment team—which has arrived in Nepal this morning—and elements of the DART [Disaster Assistance and Response Team] to assist in responding to the humanitarian crisis in Nepal. A C-17 Globemaster deployed from Canadian Forces Base Trenton, Ontario, transporting elements of the DART as well as relief supplies, medical personnel and firefighters as part of the Light Urban Search and Rescue team. The Canadian Armed Forces is currently pre-positioning its personnel and resources in order to ensure a prompt reaction to assist in the aftermath of the earthquake in Nepal, and possibly return Canadians to safety.
Initially, on Saturday, April 25, hours after the earthquake hit, we announced $5 million in humanitarian assistance that is being used to provide urgent life-saving support to those affected by this catastrophe. This will be counted against the Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund.
It is clear that this devastating event has affected thousands of families in the region. Canada will continue to work with officials in Nepal and India, as well as international partners and aid agencies to contribute to helping those affected by this crisis.
Canadian citizens in the affected region requiring emergency consular assistance should contact the High Commission of Canada in New Delhi, India, by calling +91 11 4178 2000, or contact Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada’s 24/7 Emergency Watch and Response Centre at +1 613 996 8885 (collect calls are accepted where available). An email can also be sent to [email protected]