In May 2020, the Government of Canada announced a commitment of up to $100 million to help the Canadian Red Cross (Red Cross) meet increased demand due to COVID-19, and to support future floods and wildfire relief efforts.
On December 23, the government announced it will provide up to an additional $70 million to the Red Cross to support its ongoing relief efforts. Specifically, the government will provide federal funding this fiscal year (April 1 to March 31) to the Red Cross for the following:
- up to $35 million for Red Cross personnel to support Outbreak Crisis Management activities; and,
- up to $35 million for testing-related activities led by the Red Cross COVID-19 Testing Assistance Response Teams (CTART).
Through the Outbreak Crisis Management teams, the Red Cross continues to provide support in the areas of epidemic prevention and control, isolation site support, emergency care services in living environments, mental health and psychosocial support services, and health emergency response units.
CTART funding will help the Red Cross to create and deploy more teams of clinical and non-clinical staff who will support logistics, distribute information, meet surge testing needs, and fill the gaps for targeted COVID-19 testing.
The Canadian government also announced in its Fall Economic Statement its proposal to provide $150 million over two years, starting in 2021-22, to support the Red Cross and other non-governmental organizations in building and maintaining a humanitarian workforce to provide surge capacity in response to COVID-19 outbreaks and other large-scale emergencies.