Canada to provide $70 million in financing to UNRWA

Canada announces aid to UN agency for “Palestinian refugees” to be distributed over three years.

Tags: Canada UNRWA
Elad Benari ,

Canadian Parliament
Canadian Parliament
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Canada announced on Monday it will provide some US$70 million in financing to UNRWA, the UN agency for “Palestinian refugees”, AFP reports.

The aid, amounting to CAN$90 million, will be distributed over three years and comes after the agency's chief warned last month it was facing its "worst financial crisis" ever.

"This support will help respond to the rising needs of vulnerable Palestinian refugees in UNRWA's five areas of operation," Canada's foreign ministry said in a statement quoted by AFP.

It added that the aid will allow more than half a million children to receive a quality education and will help finance more than 140 primary health clinics, as well as provide shelter and food to “refugees”.

"The needs of Palestinian refugees are undeniable, especially during a global pandemic: They face high rates of poverty, food insecurity and unemployment," said Karina Gould, minister of international development.

The US, which was previously UNRWA's largest contributor, cut a full $300 million in funding to the agency in 2018, leaving it and asking other countries to help fill the gap.

Created in 1949, UNRWA supplies aid to more than three million of the five million registered “Palestinian refugees” in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and territories assigned to the Palestinian Authority.

However, it is also notorious for its anti-Israel activities. During the 2014 counterterrorism Operation Protective Edge, Hamas rockets were discovered inside a school building run by UNRWA.

Likewise, a booby-trapped UNRWA clinic was detonated, killing three IDF soldiers. Aside from the massive amounts of explosives hidden in the walls of the clinic, it was revealed that it stood on top of dozens of terror tunnels, showing how UNRWA is closely embedded with Hamas.

Former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government stopped the funding to UNRWA, but Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced in 2016 he would restore the funding.

In 2017, the Trudeau government announced a $20 million aid package to UNRWA, the bulk of which was meant to help UNRWA provide basic education, health and livelihood needs for millions of Palestinian refugees, particularly women and children.

In late 2018, after the US cut its funding to UNRWA, Canada announced $50 million in funding for the organization.



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