Canada donates $5M for relief efforts in Philippines
An aerial view shows damaged houses after Typhoon Haiyan hit Iloilo Province, central Philippines November 9, 2013. REUTERS/Raul Banias
OTTAWA - Canada will donate up to $5 million to humanitarian organizations helping those affected by the super typhoon that devastated the Philippines and left more than 10,000 dead.
Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most powerful storms ever recorded, slammed into the Philippines on Friday, setting off landslides, knocking out power in several provinces and cutting communications in the country's central region of island provinces.
Canada has also set up the Philippines Crisis Matching Fund, matching dollar for dollar any donations toward typhoon relief Canadians make to registered charities.
That money will be over and above the $5 million in relief funds.
"We want Canadians to show their generosity," Baird said.
Nearly 480,000 people were displaced and 4.5 million affected by the typhoon in 36 provinces, the country's national disaster agency said, as relief agencies called for food, water, medicines and tarpaulins for the homeless.
Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said a Canadian assessment team will determine what more Canada can do to help.
"The Philippines is a country made up of literally thousands of islands," he said Sunday. "This typhoon has devastated nine different regions within the Philippines. I guess our real fear is that as the relief efforts can get to more places we'll find more devastation and more needs."
Baird said it's possible that the military's Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) will also head out to help.
"We are moving as quickly as possible to make these determinations and we'll take decisions as expeditiously as possible," he said.
- with files from Reuters
- Relatives and friends seeking information on Canadian citizens believed to be in the affected areas should contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre by calling 1-800-387-3124 or 613-996-8885 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
- To donate go to redcross.ca
- To help the UN's World Food Program, text "Relief Now" to 45678 to donate $10 for the emergency operations in the Philippines.