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Minister Paradis Highlights Canada’s Leadership in Providing Principled and Effective Humanitarian Assistance

At Canadian Humanitarian Conference, Minister Paradis speaks about Canada’s humanitarian assistance focused on protection, partnerships and innovation

December 4, 2014 – Ottawa, Ontario – Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada

Today, the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, delivered a keynote address at the Canadian Humanitarian Conference, which brings together a wide range of Canadian experts in humanitarian response.

“I am proud of Canada’s efforts to provide appropriate, timely, and effective humanitarian assistance that reaches those most in need,” said Minister Paradis. “We are regularly one of the first countries to respond with lifesaving assistance in the wake of natural disasters or other emergency situations in developing countries. Our humanitarian assistance, which relies on effective partnerships with the Canadian humanitarian community, has saved countless lives.”

In 2013, Canada contributed to humanitarian efforts in 54 countries, including Syria, the Central African Republic and South Sudan. Canada also responded to 25 natural disasters, including Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, and heavy flooding in Laos, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Dominica. Canada is actively engaged in the response to Ebola in West Africa, and continues to provide humanitarian assistance to the people of Iraq even while responding to the threat of ISIL.

Canada’s humanitarian assistance is provided based on need, reaching people in crisis situations who need our help the most and as quickly as possible. In light of the increased complexity of today’s crises, such as in Iraq, Syria and South Sudan, it is more important than ever that our assistance continues to be provided based on the principles of humanity, neutrality and impartiality. Further, effective humanitarian assistance relies on effective partnerships. For Canada, that means partnerships with multilateral and international organizations, and Canadian civil society.

In his keynote address, Minister Paradis announced a project that aims to enhance Canada’s response to humanitarian crises by strengthening collaboration between the humanitarian and private sectors. Focusing on partnerships and innovation, Canada is continuing to work to ensure the effectiveness of humanitarian assistance in the run-up to the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, Turkey, in 2016.

Quick Facts

  • More than 90 percent of those affected by natural disasters—earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, landslides, and volcanoes—live in developing countries.
  • The complex humanitarian situations that arise from civil war and conflict, most often characterized by widespread violence, a breakdown of law and authority, and massive population movements, also affect the world’s poorest countries disproportionately.

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Maxime Robert
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of International Development and La Francophonie

Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
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