By Ana Bacic
Canada, and especially the large Croatian community there, have stepped up once again in Croatia’s hour of need.
In the days following the devastating 6.4 magnitude earthquake which hit Petrinja and surrounding areas on 29 December, help has poured in from abroad and just like during the Homeland War in the 1990s, Canada has been one of the first to unite for Croatia.
Crowdfunding campaign passes $200,000
Within hours of the earthquake, a crowdfunding campaign titled ‘Canadians Help Earthquake Victims in Petrinja’ was organised by Canadian-Croatian Mirjana Jerkovic.
At the time of writing, the campaign has raised $204,530.
There have been other campaigns Canadians have been donating to also over the past week.
CIBC donate $100,000
Leading Canadian-based global financial institution CIBC then announced it is donating $100,000 to the Canadian Red Cross to assist with relief efforts in Croatia
“The earthquake in Croatia has created an urgent need for aid and support across the region,” said Victor G. Dodig, President and Chief Executive Officer, CIBC. “In the wake of this disaster, we are joining our clients and team members in supporting relief efforts.”
CEO Dodig is a Canadian with proud Croatian heritage.
Canada government giving $500,000 in aid
The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today announced funding to support emergency response and recovery efforts in Croatia.
The Government of Canada will contribute $500,000 CAD to the Canadian Red Cross to support the response of the Croatian Red Cross and help those affected by the earthquake, by distributing essential goods such as food and water to affected people. The Government of Canada will continue to work closely with the Canadian Red Cross and the Government of Croatia to assess the situation and ensure a coordinated response.
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of life and terrible destruction brought by the powerful earthquake. Canada offers its sincerest condolences to the people of Croatia and stands ready to support them during this difficult time,” said François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Foreign Affairs in Canadian Government.
Mr. Ivan Lukšić, stressed that this donation was a result of collaborative efforts in our Croatian-Canadian community, led by Bob Bratina, Member of Parliament for Hamilton East – Stoney Creek and Chair of the Canada-Croatia Parliamentary Friendship group. Mr. Bratina was born and raised in Hamilton where he has been employed as a steelworker, broadcaster, City councilor, Mayor, and now Member of Parliament. He is proud of his Croatian background, whose family originates from Karlovac region.
AMCA Toronto association give $20,000
The latest donation of over 20 000 Canadian dollars from alumni of Zagreb University, the AMCA Toronto association, will be directed to provide assistance to the people in the affected region of Banovina.
According to Canadian statistic there is over 200,000 Canadians of Croatian descent living in Canada.
Two years ago, in May 2019, Canada hosted the President of Croatia at the time Ms. Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović for a State Visit which strengthened already good diplomatic relationships between the two countries.