Tue. Apr 16th, 2024

Canada will provide an additional $50 million in humanitarian aid to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, Global Affairs Canada announced Saturday.

The aid will be in addition to $10 million designated last week.

In a statement, GAC said the funding will help provide food, water, emergency medical assistance, protection services and other life-saving assistance, while ensuring that none of it goes to Hamas.

“It is critical that Palestinian civilians in Gaza who need life-saving assistance receive it as soon as possible,” Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly said in a statement.

“Canada will continue to work with its trusted and experienced humanitarian partners to make sure this funding reaches those who are suffering.”

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Joly and International Development Minister Ahmed Hussen are currently in Cairo, Egypt, for a peace summit concerning the Israel-Hamas conflict.

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In a statement Saturday, both said they would be meeting their counterparts and foreign officials, and Joly will also meet with staff at the Canadian Embassy in Cairo to discuss aiding Canadians in the region, including in the Gaza Strip.

On Friday, GAC said evacuating Canadians from Gaza is reliant on a humanitarian corridor opening at the Rafah crossing into Egypt. That crossing opened Saturday, with 20 trucks loaded with essential aid entering Gaza, although there were 200 total stationed at the crossing.

GAC has not provided an update in time of publication when asked by Global News whether evacuations will now be happening since the crossing has opened.

GAC official Julie Sunday said on Friday that Canada is “completely mobilized” to receive Canadians once aid can go through to Gaza, and there are standing rapid deployment team members in Cairo to support evacuations.

“It only makes sense that that aid goes in and the gate opens and we have the possibility to also bring people out. So this is what we’re planning for,” she said.

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There are approximately 150 Canadians in Gaza along with 150 family members, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday.

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In an interview with Global News, Canadian Shatha Koraz, who is in Gaza, described the dire situation there.

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She said she has had to evacuate her house, which was totally destroyed along with her university.

“There’s nowhere safe,” she said. “We’re living in a ghost town and we’re living in a horror movie 24/7.

“As of right now, we are waiting for our death time. We are always scared … There’s no water, there’s no food, there’s no electricity, there’s no WiFi. There’s nothing.”

The bombardment of Gaza has been in response to a surprise attack by Hamas on Israel two weeks ago in which at least 1,400 people were killed, mostly civilians. Health authorities in Gaza say 4,300 Palestinians have died from the counterstrike, including many civilians.

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