For Immediate Release
November 16, 2016
Montreal, QC—The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, today announced new funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). In response, David J. Cape, Chair of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), issued the following statement:
“While we support Canadian humanitarian aid being provided to those who are genuinely in need, particularly those devastated by the ongoing conflict in Syria, we continue to have serious reservations about UNRWA, an organization that is implicated with terrorist groups such as Hamas. Hamas is notorious for diverting funds and materials provided by the international community intended for humanitarian aid to terrorist purposes.
“We have communicated our concerns about UNRWA’s accountability and neutrality to the government, and we appreciate both the government’s acknowledgement of these concerns and the measures Canada has now put into place to ensure meaningful accountability and oversight. All international donors have a responsibility to ensure that aid is used for the purpose for which it is given and we are pleased Canada has taken the lead in establishing a robust accountability protocol.
“Minister Bibeau has committed to continue working directly with CIJA on this file and will facilitate joint consultations with UNRWA over the coming months. We will continue advocating for strong, concrete accountability measures to ensure that Canadian aid is being used to advance peace and improve the quality of life for Palestinians without putting at risk the security of Israelis.”