Canada's Foreign Minister John Baird (R) and his Jordanian counterpart Nasser Judeh (L) visit a Moroccan field hospital at the Al Zaatri refugee camp in the Jordanian city of Mafraq, near the border with Syria, August 11, 2012.
Credits: REUTERS/MUHAMMAD HAMED
Canadian Relief for Syria (CRS) was to have distributed that $2 million on behalf of the federal government but on Wednesday, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird decided not to use CRS out of concern that not all of the money would be spent directly on medical aid.
At a Parliament Hill press conference Friday, CRS clarified that they would, in fact, have spent it directly on aid but they are not asking the federal government to reconsider its decision. Instead, their biggest concern is that the money be quickly deployed.
"The situation is unbelievably bad there," said Dr. Anas Al Kassem, a CRS board member and trauma surgeon from Oakville, Ont. Al Kassem was in Syria just last week treating those injured by the violence precipitated by the regime of Syrian President Bashar Al Assad.
CRS is a non-partisan humanitarian organization that has been active for about a year. It has applied for but has not yet received its charitable status from Revenue Canada. The group says that, so far, it has raised about $2 million from Canadian donors for its work in Syria.