After US, Canada moves to immediately suspend UNRWA funding

Canada announces it is immediately suspending funding for the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) amid an investigation into allegations 12 employees may have been involved in the October 7 Hamas attack on southern Israel.

Canada’s Minister of International Development Ahmed Hussen says in a post on X that Ottawa “unequivocally condemns the October 7th attack on Israel” and that he is “deeply troubled by the allegations relating to some UNRWA employees.”

“I have instructed Global Affairs Canada to pause all additional funding to UNRWA pending the outcome of the investigation,” he writes.

Hussen also posts a statement that welcomes the UN investigation and indicates funds will be sent via “other partners.”

“As UNRWA undertakes this investigation, Canada will not reduce its support to the people of Gaza. Canada will continue to work with other partners to provide life-saving assistance to civilians in Gaza,” reads the letter.

Last June, Canada announced a donation of $100 million to UNRWA over four years to deliver “core programs that support basic education, health, social services and livelihood opportunities and protect the rights of Palestinian refugees,” according to a National Post report.

Canada’s announcement came hours after Washington said it would pause critical funding to the organization as the agency said it sacked “several” employees accused by Israel of involvement in the unprecedented shock attack.

Israel has reportedly provided UNRWA with information that pointed to the active participation of staffers along with the use of the agency’s vehicles and facilities in the October 7 terror onslaught. “This was strong and corroborated intelligence,” an Israeli official told Axios, adding that “a lot of the intelligence” was collected from terrorists who were captured during the October 7 attack.

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