Mr. Speaker, this winter much of Europe experienced unseasonably cold temperatures which led to many injuries and deaths. Temperatures plunged to -35°C. Some areas received over one foot of snow, leaving roads cut off and people stranded. Many countries were hard hit, including the Republic of Macedonia. Many villages are experiencing continued disruptions to their water and electricity access. These extreme conditions increase the risk of exposure among vulnerable groups, while blocked roads have caused shortages of food and medical supplies in affected areas.
Canada responded in solidarity with our Macedonian friends by providing the Macedonian Red Cross with supplies to 5,100 people over a period of three months. This meant distributing basic food and non-food items such as blankets, clothes and hygiene parcels to affected families who were braving the harsh conditions that the winter storm brought.
Canada and Macedonia have a long history of co-operation and friendship. We look forward to maintaining this relationship in the future.