May 8, 2015 – On World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day, we acknowledge and thank all those who so selflessly contribute to international humanitarian and development efforts through their work with the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.
Canada is proud to call itself a friend and partner of the movement and appreciates the support that it offers in times of urgent need.
An example of this is our Strategic Partnership with the Canadian Red Cross (CRC). The partnership was created in 2012 and since then, it has improved our collective ability to respond effectively and efficiently to humanitarian disasters around the world. For example, only 72 hours after the recent earthquake in Nepal, the CRC had already dispatched elements of its basic health unit field hospital, made possible by our partnership, to begin providing urgently needed health and medical services to those affected. Once fully operational, the hospital will provide care for as many as 200 people a day.
The partnership between Canada and the CRC also aims to strengthen the response capacity of national Red Cross and Red Crescent societies in developing countries. Given that national societies are in 189 countries, local Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers are more often than not the first responders in any given crisis. Through its work to strengthen local disaster-response capacity in the developing world, the CRC is supporting the creation of resilient communities that have enough domestic knowledge and resources to respond to crises independently.
We also applaud the more than 10,000 Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers who have helped to combat the Ebola outbreak in West Africa by providing essential support services such as contact tracing, safe burials, as well as community education and awareness. The Government of Canada remains actively engaged and committed to supporting the global effort to fight Ebola, and will continue to work with partners in Canada and internationally to help protect and promote global public health.
On World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day, we thank the 100 million members, volunteers and supporters of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement for their devotion to those who most depend on their support.
Minister of International Development and La Francophonie
Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
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