The Canadian Red Cross welcomes government investments announced in the federal budget

Ottawa | April 22, 2021

The Canadian Red Cross welcomes the Government of Canada’s recent budget, which included investments to build community resilience and recovery, strengthen global health security, and advance the health of Canadians and Indigenous communities.  The Red Cross is pleased to see strategic investments in support for community organizations and equity seeking groups, investments in preparedness, and commitments to support a response to COVID-19 in Canada and around the world.

Investing in community resilience and recovery
The budget includes key investments aimed to strengthen capacity and to support recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Included are recovery programs which support solutions for small businesses, Indigenous entrepreneurs, charities, not-for profit, and community organizations.

By investing in community organizations with financial support and granting programs, including the Community Services Recovery Fund, equity seeking groups can access the support they need to strengthen their operational capacity. This will enable community groups to reinvest and support their own communities. The Red Cross welcomes these investments.

In addition, the Canadian Red Cross welcomes additional support for financial resiliency, recovery, and investment in risk reduction activities in response to climate change. Increased support to the Disaster Mitigation and Adaption Fund, supporting provincial and territorial disaster recovery, as well as flood mapping and wildfire preparedness are crucial to minimize the impact of climate-related events.

Strengthening Global Health Security
Our global health system is interconnected, and that has never been clearer than during the COVID-19 pandemic. As we emerge and recover from the pandemic, building a safer and more equitable world requires solutions that challenge traditional ways of providing international humanitarian assistance. The Canadian Red Cross welcomes international investment for COVID-19 vaccinations and support directed toward the global response to COVID-19. This includes investments to mitigate transmission of the virus across Canada and across all settings, including correctional institutions.

Vaccinations are critical but will not resolve challenges that have been exacerbated by the pandemic. Throughout the pandemic, the Red Cross has observed an increase in sexual and gender-based violence and increased disparity of marginalized groups and deteriorating mental health. Commitments to support protracted crises, including the Rohingya crisis and the Venezuelan migrant and refugee crisis, remain central to an equitable recovery from COVID-19.

Advancing health in Indigenous communities
Through the Canadian Red Cross’s experience working in partnership with Indigenous communities, we recognize that responding to and preparing for disasters and emergencies – including a pandemic – is most successful when it is sustainable and led by the community. Therefore, the Canadian Red Cross commends investment to support Indigenous communities in their fight against COVID-19, in addition to supporting the response to the health impacts of climate change. Health and wellness investments that are led and supported by the community bolster its resilience and response that promote local leadership action for Indigenous Peoples.

Investments in Health and Wellness
The Canadian Red Cross welcomes increased investment for the Substance Use and Addictions Program. Since joining the Health Canada initiative, the Red Cross is now delivering opioid poisoning response training in coordination with St. John Ambulance, in all provinces and territories (except Quebec where similar programming is in place).

The Canadian Red Cross is pleased to see investment to support seniors Aging in Place. In partnership with the Canadian Frailty Network, the Mental Health Commission of Canada, and Age Well, the Red Cross welcomes the Age Well at Home initiative. Helping seniors continue to live safely and socially connected in their own homes for as long as they wish outside of long-term care homes or hospital settings, not only increases their quality of life but also reduces the burden on caregivers. Community-based programs, which leverage the expertise and reach of local organizations through knowledge hubs, can address social isolation and increase support for vulnerable older Canadians.
 
About the Canadian Red Cross
Here in Canada and overseas, the Red Cross stands ready to help people before, during and after a disaster. As a member of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement – which is made up of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the International Committee of the Red Cross and 192 national Red Cross and Red Crescent societies – the Canadian Red Cross is dedicated to improving the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity in Canada and throughout the world.
 
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