Canada will create an emergency relief fund for refugees fleeing Syria, matching private citizens\’ donations dollar-for-dollar up to Can$ 100 million, Ottawa announced on Saturday.
Christian Paradis, minister for international development, at a press conference, praised Canadians\’ generosity, and said the matching funds would "ensure their donations can have the greatest impact."
"These funds will be used to help meet the basic needs of conflict-affected people in the region," the minister said, adding that the money would be used to secure various forms of assistance, "including shelter, food, health and water."
The funds also will help pay for "protection and emergency education," as well as providing "assistance in some transit countries for refugees when these countries are eligible for official development assistance."
The Ottawa government\’s match would apply to donations made by Canadians before December 31, 2015, Paradis said.
He said the government will disburse the funds to established international aid groups like the Red Cross and Red Crescent.
"We want to make sure we\’re dealing with people on the ground who have the capacity to reach people the most in need," the minister said.
Meanwhile, the prime minister of Ontario, Kathleen Wynne, announced separately Saturday that her province would take in 5,000 refugees by year\’s end.
Canada has taken in some 2,500 from the war-ravaged region and the Conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper has said it will accept an additional 10,000 refugees from Syria and Iraq, combined, per year over the next three years.