The Government of Canada has announced $19.4 million in immediate funding to assist Nunavut as cases of Covid-19 continue to rise in the Kivalliq region.
The money will be used for food and social supports, municipal services such as water truck delivery, security and non-medical personal protective equipment to keep people safe. The Government of Nunavut (GN), Inuit communities and Inuit organizations will distribute the aid.
The largest sum – $6.5 million – will be devoted to supporting essential municipal services and additional medical personnel and supplies. Food hampers and other meal programs will get an injection of $6 million. Another $2 million will go toward on-the-land initiatives, including food harvesting, “while facilitating physical distancing and promoting mental well-being,” according to a federal government news release. Some of the funding will target the enhancement of remote education.
Since the onset of the pandemic, the federal government stated that it has provided a total of $105 million in Covid-19 support to Nunavut communities.
“Covid-19 has hit the Kivalliq region quickly and is testing our limited resources and capacity,” said Premier Joe Savikataaq. “The Government of Nunavut is very grateful for the federal government’s ongoing support and openness. Their immediate financial assistance in response to the outbreak, and their swift action to provide support where we need it is truly appreciated.”
Nunavut Tunngavik acting president James Eetoolook said, “Hampers with food and cleaning supplies are critically needed. This funding will support Nunavut Inuit to stay home and limit contacts. On behalf of Nunavut Inuit, I thank (Indigenous Services Canada) Minister Marc Miller for rapidly responding to the outbreak in the Kivalliq.”
Kivalliq Inuit Association President Kono Tattuinee added, “On-the-land social distancing helps to reduce overcrowding in homes and shelters, improves mental health and strengthens children learning Inuit language and culture. I am encouraged and grateful for this support.”