The Canadian government has announced CA$150 million for the Supporting a Humanitarian Workforce to Respond to COVID-19 and Other Large-Scale Emergencies (HWF) program to support both capacity building and domestic response resources to four of Canada’s top emergency management NGOs.
To date, the government has provided more than CA$78 million to the Canadian Red Cross, St. John Ambulance, The Salvation Army, and the Search and Rescue Volunteer Association of Canada (SARVAC) through this investment. This funding has allowed these organizations to mobilize in response to emerging events more quickly and deploy critical on-the-ground support to provincial, territorial and local governments.
Specifically, this funding has gone to support vital services on the ground for several provinces and all three territories that have requested federal assistance, including critical care nurses in hospitals, support in long-term care facilities and retirement homes, and epidemic prevention and control, and vaccination support. It has also supported deployments to respond to outbreaks in remote Indigenous communities.
In 2022-23, the program will continue to provide funding for these organizations to build their capacity, hire staff, rapidly deploy to areas impacted by emergencies, and fund deployments in response to RFAs that may arise. With this funding, organizations will continue to maintain a highly skilled and qualified group of emergency responders and emergency management professionals. It will also help fund the development of emergency management systems, deliver top-tier training, and acquire some equipment needed for rapid mobilization.