Canada stands ready to assist the Philippines deal with the crisis in Marawi City.
This comes as more civilians and troops are affected by the lingering armed conflict in the southern city between security forces and Islamist rebels.
“We stand ready to help… Normally, we would respond to a request from the government of the Philippines,” Canadian Ambassador to Philippines John Holmes told reporters.
Holmes said his country is already providing assistance to the Philippines through the Canadian Red Cross and the International Committee of the Red Cross Philippines.
“In terms of our aid program, Mindanao has been our focus the last few years and continues to be our focus,” the ambassador said.
“We have different programs that are already operating. We continue to support Mindanao Trust Fund, this will continue in terms of tragic events,” the Canadian envoy also said.
Holmes expressed sympathy to the Philippines amid Marawi fighting.
“Government of Canada extends its heartfelt condolences to the government and the people of Marawi who have been affected by this horrible tragedy,” he added.
Canada’s assistance to Mindanao will continue amid the war in Marawi and the declaration of martial law in the region, he said.
Members of local extremist groups Abu Sayyaf and Maute attacked Marawi last May 23.
The attack prompted President Rodrigo Duterte to put the entire island of Mindanao under military rule.
The clashes, which are still going on, have left thousands displaced and hundreds killed.
Holmes also said Canada is ready to work with the Philippines and offer assistance in fighting terrorism in terms of capacity building and information exchange.
“We stand ready to work with the Philippines in that regard. We don’t normally… we wouldn’t be sending troops or anything like that but we do capacity building, exchanges of information, things like that. That’s been ongoing,” he said.