The federal government announced it will match, dollar for dollar, Canadians' individual donations to registered charities to support the relief and recovery efforts in Haiti -- up to a total of $50 million.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his wife Laureen went to a Canadian Red Cross office in Ottawa to personally drop off a donation on Thursday afternoon.

"Those who want to help can help, the government made clear today that we will provide matching donations to Canadians who do donate," Harper told reporters.

Any donation made to Canadian charitable organizations between Jan. 12 and Feb. 12, 2010 will be matched by Ottawa through the Haiti Earthquake Relief Fund -- which is managed by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). CIDA will then allocate these funds to Canadian and international humanitarian and development organizations.

"Many Canadians are deeply concerned about the suffering and loss of life as a result of this catastrophe in Haiti," said Beverly Oda, Canada's minister of international cooperation, on Thursday.

"Canadian citizens have shown time and again their generosity with countries in urgent need, and our government is prepared to match their contributions dollar for dollar."

On Wednesday, Canada pledged $5 million in emergency assistance to Haitians affected by the devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck on Jan. 12.

Haiti is the largest recipient of Canadian development assistance in the Americas, and is currently CIDA's second largest development program.

Internationally, more than $100 million has been earmarked for Haiti in the aftermath of Tuesday's quake.

The World Bank is providing a $100 million grant for international aid and the UN has released $10 million.

In Washington, U.S. President Barack Obama announced "an immediate investment of $100 million" to support its relief efforts in Haiti.

The Associated Press reports the following monetary donations that have been announced for relief in Haiti:

  • Britain, $10 million
  • Australia, $9.3 million
  • Norway, $5.3 million
  • Japan, up to $5 million
  • Italy, $1.46 million
  • The European Commission, $4.37 million
  • Denmark, $1.9 million
  • Spain, $4.37 million
  • Germany, $2.17 million
  • India, $1 million
  • China, $1 million
  • Sweden, $850,000

With files from The Associated Press