Please donate: Ottawa will match Canadians' donations to Philippines typhoon relief

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Typhoon Haiyan

The Government of Canada has announced that it will match every dollar that Canadians donate to aid Typhoon Haiyan victims.

The Government is calling on Canadians to help support the people affected by the devastating effects of Typhoon Haiyan through a matching fund. The announcement was made today by the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie.

“On November 9, 2013, I announced up to $5 million in support to humanitarian organizations. This is in addition to the Matching Fund that I am announcing today,” said Paradis. “This storm has had a devastating impact on the people of the Philippines, and sadly, it is not yet over. In the coming days, we will continue to monitor the situation, we will work with our partners to meet humanitarian needs and we will stand ready to provide further assistance if required,” added the Minister.

Canada is also deploying the Interdepartmental Strategic Support Team, to assess needs on ground and identify potential response options, which could include the Disaster Assistance Response Team.

The devastation has been widespread, displacing 615,000 people from their homes and affecting 9.5 million people. According to the Philippines Red Cross, well over 10,000 people are feared to be dead in Haiyan’s aftermath and 80 per cent of the area in the storm’s path has been destroyed by its 275 km/h winds, making it one of the strongest storms to ever make landfall in recorded history. The winds and waves were so strong that it blew large freight ships far inland.

The death toll could rise greatly as communication has not been made with the tens of thousands of people living on the islands that bore the brunt of the typhoon’s fury. In addition to its winds, the storm delivered tsunami-like waves that reached heights of nearly 20 feet. Entire cities and towns, mostly built out of wood, have been blown or swept away; scores of people have died from drowning or collapsed buildings. A United Nations disaster assessment team is reporting that the Philippines now faces an humanitarian crisis on the scale of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

In addition to the devastation, widespread looting and crime has been reported in the affected areas as survivors attempt to find shelter and food within the devastation and bodies that line the streets.

iCyclone storm chaser Josh Morgerman describes Tacloban, one of the cities hardest hit, in this way: “Tacloban city is devastated. The city is a horrid landscape of smashed buildings and completely defoliated trees, with widespread looting and unclaimed bodies decaying in the open air.”

“The typhoon moved fast and didn’t last long, only a few hours, but it struck the city with absolutely terrifying ferocity,” said Moregerman. “At the height of the storm, as the wind rose to a scream, as windows exploded and as our solid-concrete downtown hotel trembled from the impact of flying debris, as pictures blew off the walls and as children became hysterical, a tremendous storm surge swept the entire downtown.”

“Waterfront blocks were reduced to heaps of rubble. In our hotel, trapped first-floor guests smashed the windows of their rooms to keep from drowning and screamed for help, and we had to drop our cameras and pull them out on mattresses and physically carry the elderly and disabled to the second floor… the city has no communication with the outside world. The hospitals are overflowing with the critically injured. The surrounding communities are mowed down,” added Moregerman.

As responsible global citizens, we strongly urge Vancouverites to take action. Millions in the Philippines are in need of your help.

Please donate to the following registered charities between November 9 to December 8, 2013 to ensure that every dollar that you donate is matched by the Canadian federal government:

  • Unicef Canada – To send emergency supplies to Filipino children affected by the disaster.
  • Canadian Red Cross– To help with emergency supplies.
  • Save the Children -To help with disaster relief efforts for children and families affected. 10 per cent of donations will be put aside for the next emergency.
  • Global Medic Canada – To help mobilize the Global Medic team with supplying Aquatabs for clean water for victims.
  • World Vision Canada – To provide life saving essentials and emergency supplies to victims.

Feature Image: UNICEF

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Kenneth Chan Deputy Editor & Social Media Manager at Vancity Buzz. He covers stories pertaining to local architecture, urban issues, politics, business, retail, economic development, transportation, infrastructure, and anything else that makes a difference in the lives of Vancouverites. Kenneth is also a Co-Founder of New Year's Eve Vancouver. Connect with him at kenneth[at]vancitybuzz.com
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