The Philippine Embassy in Ottawa reported to the Department of Foreign Affairs that Canada’s Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART), deployed in Panay island less than a week after super-typhoon Yolanda struck the Philippines, successfully completed its immediate humanitarian assistance mission.
Camped in Roxas City for over a month, the DART assisted local authorities and non-governmental organizations in reaching communities made inaccessible by storm damage. The DART is a multidisciplinary military organization designed to deploy on short notice anywhere in the world in response to situations ranging from natural disasters to complex humanitarian emergencies. This was the first time that Canada has engaged in this type of humanitarian action in the country.
More than a dozen Filipino-Canadian members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) were specifically selected for their language skills to serve as Liaison officers within the DART. As such, they provided vital links between local authorities, international aid agencies and CAF members; a unique opportunity for members of the Filipino community, one of the largest migrant communities in Canada, to give assistance to their kababayans on the ground in disaster-struck areas.
In the course of its humanitarian mission, the CAF deployed more than 315 CAF personnel whose mission yielded the following results:
Treatment of 6,525 medical patients;
Clearing of over 131 kilometers of roads;
Delivery of 230,485 pounds of food; and
Delivery of 10,325 pounds of shelter and building materials and 59,536 pounds of humanitarian assistance goods on behalf of non-governmental organizations and local governments
In consultation with local and national authorities, it was determined that services in communities within the DART’s mission-scope are restored to pre-Yolanda levels, completing the DART’s mission in the Philippines.
In addition to the deployment of the DART, Canada’s humanitarian assistance was significant and substantial, totaling over CA $55 million in funds:
Additional CA $15 million as part of the relief fund announced on 18 November
Set-up of Typhoon Haiyan Relief Fund, a dollar-for-dollar fund-raising mechanism for the government to match every dollar donated by individual Canadians to registered Canadian charities until 23 December 2013. As of 20 December, over CA $35 million has been raised through the Fund.
Canadian provinces and territories have also contributed to relief efforts:
CA $ 500,000 pledge by the Government of Alberta to the Red Cross;
CA $ 300,000 pledge by the Government of British Columbia;
CA $ 300,000 pledge by the Government of Quebec;
CA $ 250,000 pledge by the Government of Saskatchewan;
CA $ 200,000 pledge by the Government of Manitoba to the Manitoba Council for International Co-operation (MCIC);
CA $50,000 pledge by the Government of Nova Scotia to the Red Cross;
CA $ 25,000 pledge by the Government of Nunavut to the Red Cross;
CA $ 25,000 pledge by the Government of Northwest Territories to the Red Cross; and
CA $ 25,000 pledge by the Government of Yukon
The Philippines has expressed appreciation for Canada’s support and its continuing interest and engagement in the long-term reconstruction efforts in the disaster-affected areas.