Ottawa announces $10.8M to continue Red Cross rapid emergency response

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VANCOUVER - The federal government has announced $10.8 million to continue a program that allows the Canadian Red Cross to quickly distribute emergency supplies abroad.

International Development Minister Christian Paradis says the four-year funding announcement will allow the continuation of the Enhanced Emergency Disaster Assistance Fund, which helps the Red Cross respond to humanitarian crises with 48 hours.

The disaster assistance fund was created in 2012 and is managed by the Red Cross, which uses emergency relief stockpiles currently stored in Mississauga and, more recently, Dubai.

The fund has been used to respond to emergencies 14 times since its creation.

Conrad Sauve, CEO of the Canadian Red Cross, says the program is designed to help the Red Cross respond to disasters that don't attract as much international attention and therefore don't bring in large donations to fund the group's work.

The fund is in addition to the federal government's practice to match donations to the Canadian Red Cross, with Ottawa contributing $3 for ever dollar Canadians give to respond to international emergencies.

Organizations: Red Cross, International Development, Enhanced Emergency Disaster Assistance Fund

Geographic location: Ottawa, VANCOUVER, Mississauga Dubai

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