November 27, 2013, OTTAWA – The Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and Minister for La Francophonie, concluded a trip to the Philippines where he witnessed the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan first-hand. He also met with local government and United Nations officials, as well as with international and Canadian humanitarian organizations working to respond to needs in some of the hardest-hit regions of the country.
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.
Photos and video of the Minister’s trip to the Philippines as well as of the Government of Canada’s humanitarian assistance and relief efforts are available at http://www.forcesimages.ca