OTTAWA — The Canadian Red Cross is poised to receive $100 million in federal funds to support public health measures and enhance the charity’s capacity to respond to COVID-19, as well as future floods and wildfires.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the funding on Saturday, saying national and community organizations are stepping up to provide crucial support to vulnerable people during the pandemic.

The federal government says up to $41 million would address the charity’s immediate needs, including recruiting volunteers and staff, supporting quarantine and isolation sites, and expanding its roster of infection prevention and control specialists.

The funding could also be used to procure and deploy emergency health supplies and equipment, including a mobile field hospital, in case of future waves of the virus.

Up to $59 million would be available to support additional COVID-19 relief efforts this year, as well as flood and wildfire response.

Ottawa says it’s working with the Red Cross to adjust emergency plans for such disasters, which could lead to people being evacuated from their homes, in order to align with the latest public health advice related to COVID-19.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 16, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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