Federal government says it will match donations to Red Cross Ukraine campaign

The federal government says it will match Canadians' donations to the Red Cross in aid of Ukraine, up to a maximum of $10 million.

Funding will come in addition to $50 million in development and humanitarian aid

A damaged car is seen through a hole in a wrecked apartment building following a rocket attack on the city of Mariupol, Ukraine on Friday. (AP/Evgeniy Maloletka)

The federal government says it will match Canadians' donations to the Red Cross in aid of Ukraine, up to a maximum of $10 million.

The policy was announced by the federal government on Friday. It applies to all donations under $100,000 to the Canadian Red Cross Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Appeal made between Feb. 24 and March 18.

"The humanitarian crisis unfolding in Ukraine requires all of us to come together," said International Development Minister Harjit Sajjan in a media statement. "We know we have more to do to support people affected by the conflict in Ukraine."

The federal government said the matching donations are in addition to the $50 million in funding given to Ukraine for development and humanitarian aid, and the recently announced $620 million in sovereign loans that Canada has extended to Ukraine.

The Canadian Red Cross says the donated money will be used to support immediate relief efforts in Ukraine, long-term recovery efforts and emergency preparedness.

"Money raised will enable the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement to respond to humanitarian needs generated by almost eight years of conflict, as well as preparedness and response efforts due to heightened tensions in Ukraine," says a statement on the Canadian Red Cross website.

Canadians who want to donate to the Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Appeal can do so online or by calling 1-800-418-1111.

Russia vetoes UN vote

The announcement came as Russia vetoed a UN Security Council resolution calling on Moscow to stop its attack on Ukraine and withdraw all its troops immediately.

The veto was expected but the United States and its supporters argued that the effort would highlight Moscow's international isolation.

The 11-1 vote — with China, India and the United Arab Emirates abstaining — showed significant but not total opposition to Russia's invasion of its smaller, militarily weaker neighbour. 

The resolution's failure paves the way for backers to call for a swift vote on a similar measure in the 193-member UN General Assembly, where there are no vetoes. There's no word yet on when an assembly vote might happen.

Unlike Security Council resolutions, General Assembly resolutions aren't legally binding, but they can function as statements of world opinion.

With files from The Associated Press