Canada boosts pandemic assistance to PHL, Asean

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THE government of Canada is providing more than CAD$1.1 million (approximately P44.5 million) as additional assistance to the Philippines to help counteract the outbreak of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

According to its embassy in Manila, two initiatives are being launched to provide support to the Philippines. The North American country will turnover 120,000 N95 face masks valued at CAD$782,000 (or about P29.5 million) as part of Canada’s CAD$4.5 million in-kind contribution to six Asean member-states.

It is likewise adding CAD$400,000 (some P15.2 million) to the existing CAD$17.8 million Sexual Health and Empowerment (SHE) Philippines project with charitable institution Oxfam to ensure the unhampered provision of sexual and reproductive health services during the pandemic.

This investment complements ongoing response activities, including the establishment of an emergency hotline for health services and gender-based violence, procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE) for barangay health workers, as well as distribution of family planning information materials.

The additional funding will support core activities of the SHE project, which aims to improve the quality, availability, and uptake of health services of more than 85,000 women of reproductive ages, as well as adolescent girls and boys in conflict-affected and disadvantaged regions in the Philippines.

Canada continues to contribute to international efforts by providing urgent and necessary funding to support the most vulnerable. This reflects a commitment to deliver a feminist international assistance policy, particularly in advancing the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and girls.

It is also supporting other Asean countries, including the Philippines, by providing PPE and capacity-building for the Philippines-led Asean BioDiaspora Virtual Center within the Asean Emergency Operations Center Network. The Philippines is also 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 funded via the International Atomic Energy Agency.

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