Canada gives new P70M anti-COVID-19 aid to PH

THE Government of Canada announced an additional P70 million in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) assistance to the Philippines. '

The additional CAD$ 1.9 million (approximately P70.2 million) is on top of the CAD$ 1.18 million (approx. P44.5 million) assistance it announced on June 10.

This brings the total incremental amount of Canada’s bilateral pandemic assistance to the country to more than CAD$ 3 million (approximately PhP 114.7 million).

“Canada continues to contribute to international efforts to address the ongoing pandemic by providing urgent and necessary funding, including to support those who are most vulnerable.  As the COVID-19 health crisis evolves, we recognize that for many people– particularly women and children—the pandemic may have significant and lasting adverse effects on their health, prosperity and opportunities. We are committed to supporting our partners in the Government of the Philippines in their life-saving work,” Canada’s Ambassador to the Philippines Peter MacArthur said.

Canada is adding CAD$ 1.9 million to the existing Enhance Mother/Newborn/Child Health in Remote Areas through Health Care and Community Engagement (EMBRACE) project implemented by Adventist Development and Relief Agency Canada (ADRA), bringing the total project value to CAD$ 24.7 million.

The Embassy said this additional funding to the EMBRACE project in the Philippines will support activities such as information dissemination on COVID-19, training of frontline healthcare workers on clinical management and contact tracing and provision of sexual and reproductive health services including counselling and psychosocial support.

It will also equip temporary health facilities with portable toilets, shower areas and handwashing facilities including procurement of PPEs, testing kits, disinfectants, sanitation tents and beds among others. EMBRACE is a multi-country initiative that aims to prevent stunting and maternal-child mortality in hard to reach areas.

This support is in addition to the two initiatives recently announced by Canada in support of COVID-19 efforts in the Philippines:

The donation of 120,000 N95 PPE masks valued at CAD$ 782,000 (approx. P29.5 million) as part of Canada’s CAD$4.5 million in-kind contribution to six ASEAN Member States.

An additional CAD$ 400,000 (approx.. Php 15.2 million) for the existing million Sexual Health and Empowerment Philippines (SHE) project which aims to ensure unhampered provision of sexual and reproductive health services during COVID-19. This brings the project total to CAD$ 18.2 million.

Canada is also supporting other ASEAN countries, including the Philippines, by providing PPEs and capacity-building for the Philippines-led ASEAN BioDiaspora Virtual Centre within the ASEAN Emergency Operations Centre Network.

The Philippines is  one of the beneficiary-countries identified to receive COVID-19 diagnostic equipment, testing kits, reagents, and laboratory consumables as part of a CAD$ 5 million global project that Canada is funding through the International Atomic Energy Agency.

“Canada’s humanitarian assistance is in line with its Feminist International Assistance Policy, which addresses the specific needs and priorities of people in vulnerable situations, particularly women and girls,” MacArthur added.