By Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East, Jan. 22, 2010
In January, the Harper government quietly announced that after decades of support, Canada was ceasing aid to the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA.) Founded in 1949, UNRWA is the primary organ to provide aid to Palestinian refugees scattered around the world. The Harper government’s decision represents a cruel break from Canada’s traditionally supportive and humane position vis-à-vis the Palestinian refugees.
Please click here to send an email to the all Party leaders, as well as MPs in your locale, challenging them on this decision.
Once you have had the opportunity to respond above, please forward this information to friends and acquaintances who you think would like to help. The Palestinian refugees need our support.
Canada has provided funding to UNRWA for years, and typically providing UNRWA with up to 4 percent of its budget, about $20 million annually. UNRWA provides aid to Palestinian refugees in Gaza, the West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. UNRWA is under severe financial duress, as the refugee population continues to expand, and the plight of the refugees worsens progressively in Gaza and elsewhere.The announcements on Canada’s cessation of funding to UNRWA were made by Victor Toews, the president of Canada’s Treasury Board, who was travelling in the Middle East last week on behalf of Canada’s Minister of International Cooperation, Beverley Oda.
Especially with the international collective punishment of the Palestinians of Gaza, Canada’s decision deals a severe blow both financially and psychologically to the Palestinian refugees, and to Canadian principles of justice and humanitarian concern.