The ministers discussed the response plans for COVID-19 in their respective countries and the importance of maintaining strong coordination between France and Canada, as well as internationally including with other members of the G7 and with the World Health Organization.
Canada congratulates Luis Almagro on his re-election as Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS). We also extend our congratulations to Assistant Secretary General Nestor Mendez on his re-election by acclamation.
Earlier this month, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced $50 million in funding to help vulnerable countries prepare for and respond to coronavirus disease (COVID-19). As part of this, Canada will immediately provide $8 million of this funding to experienced humanitarian partners, including the World Health Organization, the Pan-American Health Organization, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
On today’s call, each had the opportunity to present their respective ongoing response to COVID-19 and discuss the key challenges they are facing, including the repatriation of their citizens and ensuring the ongoing circulation of essential goods and supplies, as well as the integrity of the supply chain.
The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today held individual calls with his counterparts from Barbados, Japan, Saint Lucia and the United Kingdom on the spread of COVID-19 and ensure coordination during this challenging period.
To help Canadians abroad return home, the Government of Canada is creating a special financial assistance program, the COVID-19 Emergency Loan Program for Canadians Abroad. With this program, Canadian abroad directly impacted by COVID-19 will have the option of applying for an emergency loan of up to $5,000 to help secure their timely return to Canada and to temporarily cover their life-sustaining needs while they work toward their return.
The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, today issued the following statement: “A year ago, on March 15, the world was left in shock when a terrorist attacked two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, killing 51 people and injuring 50 others. New Zealand faced this terrible ordeal with courage and strength. Canada joined New Zealand in grief and solidarity.