(August 14, 2008 - Ottawa) - The Canadian International Development Agency announced today that Canada has matched over $16-million to the Red Cross China earthquake operations and almost $2-million in support of the Red Cross cyclone relief efforts in Myanmar.
"The Canadian Red Cross would like to thank the Canadian International Development Agency for their generous support of relief efforts in China and Myanmar," says Conrad Sauvé, secretary general of the Canadian Red Cross. "These efforts will focus on helping affected communities in China and Myanmar to rebuild houses, schools and clinics, support community-based health initiatives and provide economic support for those who have lost their livelihoods."
In China, the Red Cross has brought urgently needed relief to over one million survivors, thanks in large part to the work of over 180,000 Chinese Red Cross volunteers. Local Red Cross volunteers continue to provide first aid and relief to those in need.
The Canadian Red Cross responded immediately deploying aid worker Yunhong Zhang to lead the International Red Cross relief efforts in the region. In addition, the Canadian Red Cross has deployed over 7,000 tents and supported the delivery of an additional 700 tents to China from the Canadian International Development Agency to provide shelter to thousands of families left homeless by the earthquake.
In response to the devastating cyclone in Myanmar, 27,000 Red Cross volunteers and staff have reached over half a million people with water, food, shelter and relief items.
In response to this emergency, the Canadian Red Cross deployed a logistician to Myanmar and two other delegates to the region in support of the International Red Cross response and sent 2,500 metric tonnes of relief supplies.
The Canadian Red Cross also supported the distribution of 2,000 shelter kits from the Government of Canada. These kits, distributed by local Red Cross volunteers, are providing urgently needed shelter to up to 10,000 people in the disaster zone.
"Significant progress has been made in both operations," says Sauvé. "However, due to the massive scale of both disasters the needs in affected communities are still great."
Canadians wishing to support the ongoing relief efforts in China and Myanmar are encouraged to contribute by donating online, calling 1-800-418-1111 or contacting their local Red Cross office. Cheques should be made payable to the Canadian Red Cross, earmarked "China Earthquake" or "Myanmar Cyclone" and mailed to the Canadian Red Cross National Office; 170 Metcalfe Street, Suite 300; Ottawa, Ontario; K2P 2P2.
The Canadian Red Cross is a member of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, which includes the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the International Committee of the Red Cross and 186 national Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. Our mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity in Canada and around the world.