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Minister of International Development appearance before the Special Committee on the COVID-19 Pandemic


Aid to West Bank & Gaza


The Government has received both support and criticism regarding its assistance for Palestinians.

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Releasable Background

Canada is building the resilience of the most vulnerable Palestinians by protecting human dignity and fostering growth that works for everyone. Canada also supports efforts towards the creation of a Palestinian state by promoting inclusive governance, and peace and security.

Palestinians face a protracted humanitarian crisis. Canada has a significant package of humanitarian assistance in the West Bank and Gaza, which helps to respond to food security, health, protection, shelter, and other needs, including the needs of survivors of gender-based violence. The Palestinian private sector needs to be strengthened and Palestinians face poverty and increasing vulnerability. In promoting inclusive and sustainable economic growth, Canada is working to increase economic opportunities and prosperity for Palestinians. For example, Canadian funding is supporting the empowerment, entrepreneurship and employment of women and youth.

Canada continues its commitment to improve inclusive governance. This includes support for the justice sector, peace and security and rule of law as critical elements leading to a responsible democracy that respects human rights and responds to the needs of its citizens. Canada also supports the voice of women in governance, and promotes the protection of human rights of women and girls (including sexual and reproductive health and rights, and addressing sexual and gender-based violence).

Canada exercises enhanced due diligence for all international assistance funding for Palestinians. This includes ongoing oversight, regular site visits, a systematic screening process, and strong anti-terrorism provisions in funding agreements.

Official Development Assistance Disbursements for the West Bank and Gaza: approximately $46.4 million in 2018-19 (latest public figure available through Canada's Statistical Report on International Assistance 2018-2019, Tables D2 and D3). UNRWA received a total of $50 million in support for 2018 and 2019.

COVID-19: Canadian funds provided to UNRWA, WHO and UNICEF for COVID-19 activities are being directly managed by these organizations. Activities are not being outsourced to non-governmental organizations.

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