Home Politics After pausing funding to UNRWA, Canada will send another $40M in aid for Gaza

After pausing funding to UNRWA, Canada will send another $40M in aid for Gaza

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Canada is sending another $40 million in aid to organizations that are helping people in the Gaza Strip after pausing funding to the UN’s relief agency for Palestinians — even as one MP warns the UN agency is the only one capable of delivering the aid Gaza needs.

The funding top-up, bringing the total commitment to $100 million, comes as Ottawa condemns what it calls “inflammatory rhetoric” from Israeli government officials about the forced displacement of those who live in the besieged territory.

“Throughout this conflict, we have centred our decisions on the lives of innocent civilians in this conflict,” International Development Minister Ahmed Hussen said Tuesday.

“This is a demonstration of Canada’s commitment.”

The bulk of the new funding will go to the World Food Program, UNICEF, the World Health Organization, the UN Population Fund, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Roughly $5 million has been set aside for Canadian non-governmental organizations.

Last week, Canada suspended “additional funding” to a UN agency that supports Palestinians in Gaza and employs about 13,000 people there, as well as another 17,000 in Palestinian refugee camps in the West Bank, Lebanon and other places.

The move was in response to allegations that some staff of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) played a role in the Hamas attack in Israel on Oct. 7.

That day, militants killed about 1,200 people and took another 250 hostage, provoking a massive military response by Israel in Gaza. It’s believed that about 100 hostages are still alive and being held there.

The Hamas-controlled health ministry in the territory says more than 26,000 Palestinians have been killed, including militants.

When the agency’s director fired nine staff members suspected of being involved in the Hamas attack, there was an immediate international outcry. The UN condemned what it called the “abhorrent alleged acts” and the United States suspended its own funding.

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