Government of Canada

Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada

www.international.gc.ca

Helping Syrian civilians

September 29, 2012

Ottawa (Ontario) — Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and Minister of International Cooperation Julian Fantino today announced that Canada will provide $2 million in humanitarian medical aid through the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

"The Assad regime's continued assault on the Syrian people is producing a human tragedy that is getting worse by the day," said Baird, attending the United Nations General Assembly and a side meeting of the Friends of Syria Group. "Canada remains committed to exhausting its diplomatic and humanitarian options."

Today's announcement puts details to the government pledge of August 11 to get badly needed medical supplies on the ground in Syria. So far, the Canadian International Development Agency has committed $12 million in support for Syrian civilians.

"We call for immediate full, safe, and unhindered access for humanitarian agencies to help those suffering as a result of this conflict," said Minister Fantino. "Canada will continue to review the needs of Syrians, including those in neighbouring countries, and respond accordingly. We urge other donors to also support the most in need during this crisis."

The Syrian crisis has so far claimed thousands of lives, most of those civilian. More than 280,000 people have fled to neighbouring countries. An estimated 1.5 million more are displaced within Syria itself. Through this project, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies will support the Syrian Arab Red Crescent Society to directly assist 200,000 beneficiaries and will strengthen its capacity to respond to the needs of more than 1.5 million people.

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For more information, media should contact:

Stephanie Rea
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of International Cooperation
Telephone: 819-953-6238
Email: stephanie.rea@acdi-cida.gc.ca

Media Relations Office
Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
Telephone: 819-953-6534
Email: media@acdi-cida.gc.ca

Twitter: @CIDA_CA