Canada announced a commitment of $100 million in humanitarian aid in response to the conflict in Ukraine on Saturday, bringing the country's total contribution to $245 million since January.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the pledge at the Stand Up for Ukraine pledging event, which he co-hosted alongside European Commission President Ursula von Der Leyen. Joining virtually from the Canadian Museum of History in Ottawa, Trudeau said the funding would help address the worsening humanitarian crisis in Ukraine and neighbouring countries, such as Poland, where the event took place.
"As the humanitarian crisis deepens and needs continue to grow, our collective response must keep pace," Trudeau said. "This is a moment where the world needs to come together, stand up for Ukraine, and stand up for our values and principles."
On top of the funding announced on Saturday, the government unveiled a series of measures to facilitate the resettlement of Ukrainian refugees in Canada, including targeted charter flights, income support, and temporary hotel accommodation for up to two weeks. These measures are meant to solidify the existing Canada-Ukraine authorization for emergency travel (CUAET) program, while lessening bureaucratic hurdles for processing applications.
We're very grateful to @JustinTrudeau and the Government of Canada for co-hosting #StandUpForUkraine, and for committing this additional humanitarian aid and crucial support to help Ukrainians coming to Canada. https://t.co/Jw5iNP31m3— Global Citizen Canada (@GlblCtznCAN) April 9, 2022
Additionally, Trudeau said the government will focus on providing emergency health services, including trauma care, protection, and basic necessities to displaced populations.
“Whether it’s food, water, shelter, or medical aid — we will continue to have your backs and provide the assistance you need at this time,” he said in a statement.
Canada's commitment comes on the heels of Global Citizen's massive social media rally, which was held on April 8 to urge the international community to ramp up support for refugees in Ukraine and around the world. The event brought together Global Citizens, artists, athletes, actors, and creators, as they took to social media to call on world leaders to #StandUpForUkraine.
Among participating Canadian A-listers were Céline Dion, Michael Bublé, Lennon Stella, k.d. lang, and Toronto Raptor Svi Mykhailiuk. They posted their own messages and shared others' posts, while encouraging their fans to do the same.
Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February, more than 4 million people have fled the country, and an additional 6.5 million people have been internally displaced. The ongoing war is affecting some of the most vulnerable people in the country, including children, with many refugees needing immediate assistance.
Refugees in Ukraine and around the world need urgent humanitarian aid. I’m using my voice to demand action, and you can, too. Join me and make your own video calling for the world to support refugees everywhere. #StandUpForUkraine@NBA@GlblCtznpic.twitter.com/74AnI42YV3— Svi Mykhailiuk (@Sviat_10) April 8, 2022
I #StandUpForUkraine and for refugees around the world. I’m calling on world leaders to help all those who are forced to leave their homes. Please make sure that they get the support that they desperately need now: https://t.co/wDKhuLbFAV - Celine xx... pic.twitter.com/oWhlbiZplG— Celine Dion (@celinedion) April 8, 2022
While the international community has provided substantial support to address the crisis — the event resulted in commitments totalling US $10.1 billion — the need remains tremendous. Other conflicts, such as the crisis in Sudan, have received little to no international attention, but require just as much support.
Global Citizen will continue to update the status of Canada's commitment as it develops. Check out our impact report here to find out what else Canada has done to support Ukraine. If you want to get involved, find out how you can help at ForUkraine.com. You can also join the conversation on social media using #StandUpForUkraine.