Noting that it plays a “critical role in Canada’s response to COVID-19,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced today $100 million in funding to help the Red Cross meet increased demand due to COVID-19, as well as to support future floods and wildfire relief efforts.
“Across Canada, national and community organizations are stepping up to support the most vulnerable in our fight against COVID-19,” said Trudeau on Saturday. “It takes resources to do that, and that is why it is important that we support organizations like the Canadian Red Cross. They are there for Canadians, so we need to be there for them.”
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The funding includes up to $41 million to address immediate COVID-19 needs, with over $15 million committed to enhance the Red Cross’ response capacity and $25 million to support public health efforts.
Trudeau said that with this funding, the Red Cross will
- Recruit and train volunteers and staff;
- Adapt its operations to the COVID-19 context;
- Support quarantine and isolation sites;
- Acquire personal protective equipment for its personnel and volunteers;
- Provide training to the health care sector and other essential workers on using personal protective equipment, and maintaining infection prevention and control measures within facilities;
- Expand their roster of public health and infection prevention and control specialists;
- procure and deploy, as necessary, emergency health supplies and equipment, including a mobile field hospital, to prepare for future waves and outbreaks of COVID-19.
In addition, up to $59 million of this funding will be available to support additional relief and recovery efforts this year related to COVID-19, as well as for future floods and wildfires. This will help ensure that the Red Cross can continue to support Canadians as the situation evolves and new needs emerge, including by providing assistance to those who are evacuated from their homes because of natural disasters.