Jamaica

Canada sends new C-17 to Jamaica with supplies for the victims of Hurricane Dean

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Trenton - Minister of International Cooperation Beverley Oda and Minister of National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency Peter Gordon MacKay were in Trenton today to oversee loading of relief items in Canada's new C-17 for hurricane-affected communities in Jamaica.

"By using our new C-17, Canada's New Government is responding today to the humanitarian emergency in Jamaica with a large shipment of emergency aid supplies," said Minister Oda. "The 32 tons of supplies, such as tarps, jerricans and buckets that we are sending will bring much-needed relief to the victims of Hurricane Dean."

"Today's shipment of such a large quantity of supplies across this long distance would not have been possible without our new C-17 Canadian Forces aircraft," said Minister MacKay. "I am proud that we now have this capability, and the Canadian Forces can contribute toward this important relief effort and helping to alleviate the human suffering caused by Hurricane Dean."

"In his recent travel to the region, the Prime Minister highlighted the importance of Canada's longstanding relationship with the Caribbean. Canadian officials have been maintaining close contact with the relevant authorities and agencies of all countries affected by Hurricane Dean," said the Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of Foreign Affairs. "I have been in touch with my Jamaican counterpart to underscore our willingness to assist. I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the efforts of Canadian tour operators in acting so responsibly toward their clients and to remind travelers of the need to stay informed and cautious when visiting regions prone to hurricanes."

The supplies sent today are in addition to Canada's $2 million financial commitment made on August 20, 2007 for relief and recovery efforts for those affected by Hurricane Dean; and a February 2007 contribution to the $20 million Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility-providing governments with insurance against government losses caused by catastrophic natural disasters; and a $20 million regional disaster risk reduction program.

Canadians wishing to help with relief efforts are encouraged to visit: http://geo.international.gc.ca/cip-pic/library/howcanadians-en.aspx.

Information:

Jean-Luc Benoît
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of International Cooperation
(819) 953-6238

Media Relations Office

Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
(819) 953-6534
info@acdi-cida.gc.ca
http://www.cida.gc.ca

Dan Dugas
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of National Defence
(613) 996-3100

Media Liaison Office
Department of National Defence
(613) 996-2353 or 2354