NEWS

Canada to donate $15M more to Philippines relief effort

11/18/2013 11:34 EST | Updated 01/25/2014 04:01 EST
Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced an additional $15 million in relief aid for the typhoon-ravaged Philippines Monday, bringing the total Canadian government contribution to $20 million.

Harper was speaking at Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Parish, where he met with members of Toronto's Filipino-Canadian community.

The government said Friday that $15 million had been donated by individuals and businesses for the relief effort. The money contributed by individuals will be matched by the government until Dec. 9.

At a media briefing Monday, Canadian Embassy staff in the Philippines said that so far no Canadians have been reported dead or seriously injured due to damage caused by Typhoon Haiyan.

The typhoon struck the Philippines over a week ago, affecting 10 million people.

At the morning briefing by military and embassy officials in Ottawa, it was revealed 39 Canadians are either still unaccounted for or are being assisted by consular staff in finding transportation out of damaged areas.
Some are said to be receiving financial assistance.

Ambassador-designate Neil Reeder, speaking by phone from the Philippines, said five extra consular staff are working at the embassy in Manila, and two more are on their way.

Lt.-Col. Walter Taylor, commander of Canada's Disaster  Assistance Relief Team (DART), said on the phone from the city of Roxas that a water purification system is expected to be working by Wednesday, and three more units are on their way to the Philippines.

He said Canadian staff have visited three hospitals, a church shelter and a funeral home in Roxas, but haven't come across any Canadians who need help.

Col. Stephen Kelsey, of Canadian Joint Operations Command said no figures are currently available about the costs of deploying the DART units.

Two Griffin helicopters are on their way to the Philippines, and one more will follow.

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