The federal government, much criticized in recent days for his approach to the crisis of Syrian refugees, said Saturday an additional humanitarian aid for hundreds of thousands of victims of the conflict in Syria.
In Ottawa, International Development Minister Christian Paradis announced that an emergency fund was created to help Syrians fleeing the war.
Thus, the federal government will match the amount of donations that Canadians will be “eligible” organizations such as UNICEF (UNICEF), up to $ 100 million.
Canadian donations to UNICEF increased significantly since the release last week, the picture of the Syrian Kurdish Alan child lying face against sand on a Turkish beach, after an unsuccessful attempt of his family to win Greece by boat.
Minister Paradis said the money would be used to support the Syrian asylum seekers so they have shelter and food, as well as care. Funds will also go to countries like Germany, which receive migrants temporarily or permanently.
This is in addition to the budget of $ 500 million in humanitarian assistance already provided by Canada as part of its assistance efforts in Syria and in neighboring countries since the start of the Syrian civil war.
Premier of Ontario, Kathleen Wynne, welcomed the federal government’s decision Saturday. She announced that his province unblocked $ 10.5 million to enable more refugees to settle in Ontario and to support international efforts for humanitarian assistance.
Wynne said that the majority of this sum would be used to accommodate Syrian refugees in the province, but added that about $ 2 million would be paid immediately for humanitarian aid in the Middle East.
Earlier this week, the Quebec government announced its intention to host a total of 3650 refugees by the end of the year, 2450 more than its original purpose, which requires an agreement with Ottawa. Quebec also provided assistance of $ 100,000 to agencies that provide assistance to Syrian asylum seekers in countries of the region.
The Conservative government of Stephen Harper has already announced its intention to host 10,000 Syrian refugees from religious and ethnic minorities in the next three years. Only 2,300 Syrians have been accepted in the country until now.
The New Democratic Party for his part wishes to host more than 46,000 refugees sponsored by the government by 2019, including 10,000 by the end of the year. The Liberals, for their part committed to host “immediately” 25,000 Syrian refugees if they come to power.
According to UNICEF, because of the conflict in Syria, 16 million people, nearly half of them children, are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance and protection. More than four million Syrians have fled the country since the conflict began in March 2011.
Moved by the photo of the little Alan Kurdi, Canadians gave three times as much money in 10 days to UNICEF during the first eight months of the year. The agency said Friday that since the beginning of September the Canadians had paid $ 175,000 in emergency funds in Syria, while from January to August, these donations totaled $ 60,000.
According to UNICEF Canada President David Morley, this sudden increase is actually due to the publication of the photo of Alan Kurdi, but it ensures that the agency has not altered its fundraising strategy since the This photo, to avoid being accused of trying to exploit the tragedy of the little Syrian.
The Humanitarian Coalition, made up of five Canadian agencies (CARE Canada, Oxfam Canada, Oxfam-Québec, Plan Canada and Save the Children Canada), raised his hand for $ 200,000 refugees since the publication of the famous photo, also without playing about new emotions aroused in the hearts of people.