Canadian Relief Team Bound for IloIlo, Second Aircraft Deployed

The Canadian government has dispatched Canada's Disaster Assistance Response Team, known as DART, to aid in the typhoon relief efforts in the Philippines.

Copyright Photo: Tim Lachenmaier/
The DART team is composed of Canadian Forces personnel that are trained to respond quickly to any humanitarian emergencies abroad. Most recently, the team was deployed in Haiti after the devastating earthquake in 2010. The team is able to provide basic medical assistance, engineering support, and clean water from its sophisticated purification systems. 

An advance team of eight were sent to the Philippines on Sunday to assess the immediate needs and to identify how Canada could help. Meanwhile, a Canadian Forces C-17 departed Canadian Forces Base Trenton in Ontario on Monday evening with 43 soldiers, communications equipment, a fully-supplied medical team and three vehicles including an ambulance, forklift, and mobile command post. The team was standing by in Hawaii before receiving instructions to deploy to Iloilo. 

Prime Minister Stephen Harper said that the city of Iloilo was one of the under served regions by ongoing humanitarian efforts. Over 530,000 people have been affected in the Iloilo region by Typhoon Haiyan. According to Philippine authorities, Iloilo suffered 162 deaths and destruction of 68,543 houses. 

"The DART team is now on the way to Iloilo, which is one of the affected areas that has so far been less served by some of the humanitarian efforts," Harper said. The Prime Minister decided to send DART even before an official request was received from authorities in the Philippines. “Obviously, we’ve moved incredibly fast, probably faster than we’ve ever moved,” said Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird. “And we’re not going to get into arcane bureaucratic discussions about paperwork and what not. There’s people who need our help, and we’re going to do all we can to provide assistance.”

In addition to the deployment of the DART team, the Canadian government promised up to $5-million in aid for the Philippines. In addition, it will be matching cash donations from individual Canadians. Prime Minister Stephen Harper spoke with President Aquino on Monday morning to express his condolences. 

canada philippines relief
Copyright Photo: Cpl. Levarre McDonald/The Canadian Press
Approximately 30 Canadians including Foreign Affairs officials and soldiers are already on the ground in the Philippines while 43 soldiers from the Disaster Assistance Response Team are en route to Iloilo. Meanwhile, soldiers were dispatched from Canadian Forces Base Gagetown in New Brunswick to Ontario's CFB Trenton in preparation for deploying more soldiers to the Philippines. 

According to Defence Minister Rob Nicholson, Canada will be deploying a second C-17 aircraft as part of Canada's contribution to assist the relief efforts in the Philippines. The aircraft will depart Canada on Wednesday to begin moving additional personnel and equipment to the affected region. 

The Canadian Red Cross will be deploying a 12-person medical team and setting up a field hospital to provide urgently needed emergency health support in the Philippines. The unit will be a self-contained, general outpatient clinic that can provide basic health and surgical care for up to 300 people per day. It will include 74 inpatient beds for ongoing observation and care. 

According to the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, approximately 800,000 people of Filipino descent live in Canada. The Philippines has become Canada's largest source of immigrants in recent years. 


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