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The deployment of the Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART), Interdepartmental Strategic Support Team (ISST) and Humanitarian Assistance Reconnaissance Team (HEART) deploying to assist the people of the Philippines


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Photo 3: Laureen Harper meets Red Cross delegates before they depart to the Philippines in response to Typhoon Haiyan. PMO photo by Deb Ransom)


NATIONAL Defence Minister Rob Nicholson and International Development Minister Christian Paradis on Wednesday announced the deployment of a Canadian Red Cross 12-person medical team and field hospital to provide urgently needed emergency health support in the Philippines.

“Typhoon Haiyan swept through the Philippines, leaving behind thousands of casualties and a path of destruction. Canada is deeply saddened by the tragic loss of life and has taken a leadership role in supporting those impacted,” said Nicholson. “To address the growing needs in this quickly evolving situation, we are working with the Canadian Red Cross to deploy an emergency field hospital and medical team to provide urgently needed health support services.”

In June 2012, the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development entered into a Strategic Partnership with the Canadian Red Cross Society to strengthen Canada’s humanitarian assistance capacity. Through this Partnership, the Canadian Red Cross has developed the ability to quickly and efficiently deploy field hospital Emergency Response Units and emergency medical teams, to provide emergency health support services to crisis-affected populations around the world.

“Thanks to the Government of Canada, we are able to quickly deploy our field hospital to help meet humanitarian needs in the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan,” said Conrad Sauve, Secretary General and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Red Cross. “The Philippine Red Cross has been working around the clock since the storm made landfall and we are proud to support their continued efforts responding to this disaster.”

Canada committed $30,000 ahead of the typhoon to aid the Philippines in preparations. Immediately after it made landfall, on November 9, Canada announced an initial contribution of $5 million to aid those impacted. Twenty-four hours later, in reaction to unprecedented level of damage, Canada launched the Typhoon Haiyan Relief Fund which will match eligible donations by individual Canadians dollar-for-dollar. On November 11, Canada deployed elements of the Disaster Assistance Response Team to further support relief efforts.

“Canada responded quickly and offered all possible assistance to the Philippines in order to reduce suffering and save lives,” said Paradis. “Given the unprecedented level of damage to many regions of the Philippines, Canada has already deployed elements of the Canadian Armed Forces Disaster Assistance Response Team to increase the capacity on the ground to deal with the crisis. We will continue to monitor the situation and again urge Canadians to donate to the relief efforts.”

Currently an estimated 11.3 million people have been affected by Typhoon Haiyan in nine regions across the Philippines and over 670,000 people are known to be displaced.