CANADA has donated CA$1.1 million (P41 million) to help the Philippines fight a novel coronavirus pandemic.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is a global threat that does not recognize borders and can only be overcome through coordinated action around the world,” the Canadian Embassy in Manila said in a statement on Wednesday.

The aid included a donation of 120,000 N95 masks worth CAD$782,0000. It is part of Canada’s CA$4.5-million in-kind contribution to six member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

It will also contribute CA$400,000 to a Philippine project on sexual health and empowerment that aims to ensure sexual and reproductive health services during the pandemic.

Canada said the project has provided health services to more than 85,000 women of reproductive age as well as adolescent girls and boys in conflict-stricken areas.

“This investment complements ongoing response activities,” the embassy said, citing the establishment of an emergency hotline for both health and gender-based violence.

It has also helped in procuring personal protective equipment for village health workers.

Canada has also helped in capacity-building for the ASEAN BioDiaspora Virtual Center within the ASEAN Emergency Operations Center Network.

“The Philippines is also one of the beneficiary-countries identified to receive COVID-19 diagnostic equipment, testing kits, reagents and laboratory consumables as part of a the CA$5-million global project,” it said. — Charmaine A. Tadalan