Canadian Red Cross ready to assist in arrival of 25,000 Syrian refugees

Topics: Refugee Arrival
Colin Smith, Canadian Red Cross | December 01, 2015

A young boy with his family at the waiting area Feldkirchen, Germany, run by the German Red Cross. The Canadian Red Cross is ready to work in collaboration with the Government of Canada, provinces and municipalities in the provision of humanitarian assistance for the mass arrival of 25,000 refugees.

The Red Cross is prepared to support refugees as they transition to new communities to ensure they have what they need to start their new lives in Canada. 

 “Families do not leave their homes without reason – they leave everything behind and endure huge risks because hope lies elsewhere,” said Conrad Sauvé, president and CEO of the Canadian Red Cross. “We are proud to support the Government of Canada operation to support thousands of refugees will be provided with comfort, support and hope for a better life in Canada.”

If requested by the government, thousands of Canadian Red Cross staff and highly trained, experienced volunteers are ready to assist with the reception and registration of Syrian families in Canada, and early assistance with their accommodation, bedding, food, clothing and other essential needs.

The Red Cross may also help refugees re-establish and maintain contact with family members by arranging phones, internet and other communication services.

In addition, Red Cross support may also mean connecting people with resources to support their transition to Canada including language training, recreational activities for children and supporting people in securing employment including the purchase of equipment for tradespeople.

Restoring Family Links services can help reconnect families who may have become separated as a result of the conflict in Syria. As families transition to life in Canada, the Canadian Red Cross is able to coordinate with government agencies and recognized community-based organizations to ensure refugees have access to schooling for children, English and French language training, first aid and child safety training, and access to long-term housing. 

“The Canadian Red Cross is well equipped and fully prepared to ensure the Syrian refugees arriving in Canada will receive the support they need,” said Jean-Philippe Tizi, Canadian Red Cross vice president, emergency management, who is coordinating this Red Cross response. “We are committed to assisting in their recovery from their long journeys and helping them in the long term as they settle in Canada and become integrated to their new communities.”

The Canadian Red Cross already has extensive experience and expertise providing humanitarian assistance to those seeking refuge here. In 1999, the Red Cross helped welcome 5,500 people fleeing conflict in Kosovo, and more recently with repatriation efforts in 2006 following the war in Lebanon. The Red Cross was also involved in resettlement efforts after the Haiti earthquake, and the 2010 arrival in British Columbia of hundreds of Sri Lankans in the cargo ship, MV Sun Sea.

The Canadian Red Cross has been supporting the Syrian Arab Red Crescent for the last three years in emergency health, emergency relief and institutional support. The Canadian Red Cross continues to provide support to refugees in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey as well as countries on the migrant route from Syria to Germany.

In September 2015, the Canadian Red Cross shipped 10,000 cots and 10,000 blankets to Germany to support German Red Cross efforts providing assistance to refugees in camps and reception centres there.

Canadians who want to families as they transition to their new lives in Canada help are encouraged to make an online donation to the Syrian Refugee Arrival Appeal, or by calling 1-800-418-1111 or contacting their local Canadian Red Cross office.