Canada pledges support in response to Hurricane Tomas in the Caribbean

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OTTAWA, Ontario — Peter Kent, Minister of State of Foreign Affairs, on behalf of Beverley Oda, Minister of International Cooperation, on Friday announced Canada’s support in response to the humanitarian needs arising from Hurricane Tomas in the Caribbean.

"We want to ensure that the needs of the people affected by Hurricane Tomas are met quickly," said Kent. "This contribution will ensure that the affected families can receive the emergency support they need."

Canada’s contribution of $50,000 will help the International Federation of the Red Cross in its goal of assisting up to 1,550 families affected by the hurricane in St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Barbados. It will provide essential non-food items, including shelter, and ensure that the affected families have access to adequate water and sanitization facilities. Canada is also participating in the Rapid Needs Assessment Team led by the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency through the provision of a water specialist from Ottawa who arrived in St. Lucia on Wednesday.

In 2007, CIDA contributed $20 million to launch the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF). In light of the damages caused by Hurricane Tomas, the CCRIF will provide US$3.2 million to St Lucia, US$8.5 million to Barbados, and US$1.1 million to St Vincent. CIDA also funds the Caribbean Disaster Risk Management Program (CDRMP), a $20-million program that aims to reduce the risk of natural disasters in the Caribbean region. In addition, through the Canada Fund, a small local fund of up to $130,000 will be made available for community level recovery projects.

On October 30 and 31, 2010, Hurricane Tomas struck the Caribbean Islands of Barbados, St Lucia, and St Vincent and the Grenadines, affecting approximately 1,900 homes, provoking landslides, interrupting water services for over 30,000 people, causing infrastructure damages, as well as electricity and communications disruption.

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