Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledges $ 25 million for Palestinians in Gaza and West Bank
OTTAWA – Canada will provide $ 25 million to Palestinian civilians affected by a recent conflict with the Israelis in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Friday.
Trudeau said in a press release that funding would go directly to experienced organizations that will help the most vulnerable Palestinian civilians cope after the conflict.
“The recent violence in the region is alarming – we have all seen the disturbing images of displaced civilians, the loss of life and the suffering inflicted on families,” Trudeau said.
Canada’s assistance will include $ 10 million for emergency food aid, shelter, water, sanitation and hygiene, as well as psychosocial support for children. Another $ 10 million will go to humanitarian and reconstruction efforts, such as vital medical infrastructure.
Canada will also spend up to $ 5 million on peacebuilding initiatives between Palestinians and Israelis.
International Development Minister Karina Gould said in an interview that “we have to deal with the immediate humanitarian situation on the ground in Gaza today”.
“It means providing psychosocial support to people who have experienced violence during those 11 days,” she said. “This means providing health services to people who have been injured, but also supporting health facilities that have been damaged.”
Last week, Canada hailed a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas that left hundreds dead.
At least 230 Palestinians were killed, including 65 children and 39 women, and 1,710 people injured, Gaza’s health ministry said. Twelve people in Israel were killed.
Gould said there is a need to ensure that there is a functioning civilian infrastructure in Gaza.
“People can access health facilities, so they can drive on the roads and children can go to school,” she said. “These repairs must take place.”
Before the conflict, the United Nations estimated that around 1.57 million people in Gaza, out of a total population of two million, were in need of humanitarian assistance.
In December, Canada pledged $ 90 million over three years to meet the growing needs of vulnerable Palestinian refugees.
This report was first published by The Canadian Press on May 28, 2021.
This article was produced with financial assistance from the Facebook Stock Exchange and The Canadian Press.