Fri. Feb 23rd, 2024

Canada will donate $40 million to other NGOs ; Gaza | Middle East, the eternal conflict

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Trucks carrying humanitarian aid prepare to cross the port of Rafah towards the Gaza Strip. (Archive photo)

The Canadian Press

Canada hands over an additional $40 million to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) helping Palestinians in Gaza, after suspending funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Middle East East (UNRWA), the UN agency in the region.

Ottawa said Tuesday that 40% of this aid ($16 million) will go to the World Food Program. The rest will be split between UNICEF, the United Nations Population Fund, the World Health Organization, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs .

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Ahmed Hussen, Minister of International Development (Archive photo)

Some five million additional dollars have also been reserved for Canadian NGOs experience.

Since the beginning of the crisis, our position has always been centered on the firm conviction that aid must be increased and not reduced, and it continues to be so, said in a press release the Minister of International Development, Ahmed Hussen.

In accordance with this commitment, we grant additional emergency funding so that our trusted and experienced humanitarian partners can continue to ensure that this funding reaches the most vulnerable people when they need it.

A quote from Ahmed Hussen, Minister of International Development of Canada

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Canada has suspended further funding to UNRWA, the United Nations agency that supports Palestinians in Gaza and employs about 13,000 people there, in response to allegations that some of its employees played a role. role in the violent Hamas attacks in Israel on October 7.

The move follows international outcry over the agency's director's dismissal of nine staff members suspected of involvement in the attack. The UN condemned the alleged heinous acts. An Israeli document detailing the allegations was obtained Monday by the Associated Press. Seven UNRWA employees reportedly entered Israel on October 7. One of them would have participated in a kidnapping and another would have participated in the theft of the body of a soldier. Three other people are also accused of having participated in the attacks.

Follow our live coverage of the war in the Middle East

Ten employees were listed as having ties to Hamas and one to the militant group Islamic Jihad, AP reported.

Two of the 12 people were killed, according to the document. The UN had previously said that one of them had not yet been formally identified.

The allegations could not be independently confirmed.

Minister Hussen declined to say whether the $40 million announced Tuesday was money that would have been paid to UNRWA anyway. He also did not specify when Canada's last payment to this agency was made.

In the past, money destined for Gaza was distributed through UNRWA and they used it to deliver essential humanitarian aid, he explained Tuesday morning. Long-term support for the agency will be affected by the suspension of payments, Minister Hussen added.

UNRWA said it would be forced to halt activities by the end of February if funding was not restored. Since the start of the war, most of Gaza's 2.3 million residents have depended on the agency's programs for basic survival.

A coalition of 20 NGOs, including the Norwegian Refugee Council, Oxfam and Save the Children, also called for funding to be restored, saying UNRWA's delivery of humanitarian aid cannot be replaced.

Canada will continue to work with UNRWA and #x27;other donors to support the investigation into the serious and very concerning allegations that have been made, while respecting its commitment to assist the most vulnerable Palestinian civilians in the region.

A quote from Global Affairs Canada, by press release

The statement also calls for a humanitarian ceasefire to allow more aid to enter the Gaza Strip and reiterates the x27;Canada's call for a two-state solution in the region.

Hamas attack leaves 1,200 dead in Israel and around 250 people were taken hostage in Gaza, according to Israeli authorities. An estimated 100 hostages are still alive and detained in the besieged territory. Since October 7, Israel has bombarded Gaza from the air and by sea and carried out a large military operation on the ground. Gaza's health ministry estimates that more than 26,000 Palestinians have been killed.

Canada has so far committed $100 million dollars for humanitarian aid in Gaza.

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