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Canada to send almost $30 million in aid for Gaza after pausing UNRWA funds

Canada will send almost $30 million in aid, including water, food and other humanitarian aid, for Gaza after pausing United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) funding. 

The funds, announced Tuesday by Canada’s Minister of International Development Ahmed Hussen, will be given to six international organizations, including Canadian nongovernmental organization partners. 

International organizations that will receive part of the package will be UNICEF, the United Nations Population Fund, the World Health Organization, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and the World Food Programme, which will receive the highest share, around close to $12 million, according to a statement shared by Global Affairs Canada. 

“Since the very beginning of the crisis, our position has always been, and continues to be, centered on the firm belief that more assistance is needed, not less,” Hussen said in the statement Tuesday. “In line with this commitment, we are stepping up with additional emergency funding so that our trusted and experienced humanitarian partners can continue to ensure this funding reaches the most vulnerable in their time of need.”

The aid will also include protection services, emergency medical assistance and other lifesaving assistance. 

The announcement from Hussen comes as some nations, including Canada, halted funding to UNRWA after allegations that some of the agency’s workers had been involved in the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel. 

In light of the allegations, the U.S. stopped funding UNRWA last week. 

President Biden’s United Nations ambassador, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, called for “fundamental changes” that need to happen within the agency before Washington could resume its funding. 

“UNRWA brought this information to us, and they are conducting an investigation. They’re taking it very seriously. So, I’m not going to get ahead of the investigation that they are conducting, but I know that we need to see fundamental changes before we can resume providing funding directly to UNRWA,” Thomas-Greenfield said.

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