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Officials still looking for 17 Canadians missing in the Philippines

Young typhoon victims queue to receive food distributed by government employees along a road in Hernani, Eastern Samar province, central Philippines on Nov. 19, 2013. GETTY IMAGES/AFP PHOTO/Ted Aljibe

Foreign Affairs officials are still trying to track down 17 Canadians who remain unaccounted for in the typhoon-ravaged Philippines.

But they say they still have no reports of any Canadians killed or injured in the disaster.

They say locating people is becoming easier as communications are gradually restored.

Meanwhile, the Canadian Forces are shipping a third helicopter and another water purification unit to the Disaster Assistance Response Team, or DART, operating on the island of Panay.

International Development Minister Christian Paradis is also clarifying that the $15 million in aid announced Monday was in fact the government’s contribution to match donations by Canadians.

Paradis says individuals have donated $19.6 million so far for Filipino relief and that their contributions are being matched by Ottawa.

The government money is going to major international aid groups, including the World Food Program, UNICEF and the International Red Cross, as well as smaller organizations such as Care Canada, Oxfam Canada and World Vision Canada.

Canadians who want to donate through the Red Cross can do so via redcross.ca and designate typhoon Haiyan. They can also donate $5 by texting redcross at 30333.

Canadians needing urgent consular help following Typhoon Haiyan can email sos@international.gc.ca or call collect 613-996-8885.

The federal government has set up phone numbers for Canadians looking for information on relatives and friends who may have been caught in the affected areas. They are 1-800-387-3124 or 613-996-8885.