OTTAWA — Canada will provide $25 million to Palestinian civilians affected by a recent conflict with the Israelis in the Gaza Strip and West Bank, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday.
Trudeau said in a news release that the funding will 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, loss of life and pain inflicted on families," Trudeau said.
Canada's aid will include $10 million for urgent food assistance, shelter, water, sanitation and hygiene, as well as psychosocial support for children. Another $10 million will go toward humanitarian and rebuilding efforts, such as vital medical infrastructure.
Canada will also dedicate up to $5 million for peace-building initiatives between the 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 some psychosocial support to people who have experienced the violence over those 11 days," she said. "It means providing health services to people who have been injured, but also supporting the health facilities that have been damaged."
Last week, Canada welcomed a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas that left hundreds of people dead.
At least 230 Palestinians were killed, including 65 children and 39 women, and 1,710 people wounded, the Gaza Health Ministry said. Twelve people in Israel were killed.
Gould said there is a need to ensure there is functioning civilian infrastructure in Gaza.
"People can access health facilities, so that they can drive on roads and children can go to schools," she said. "Those repairs need to happen."
Before the conflict, the United Nations estimated that approximately 1.57 million people in Gaza, out of a total population of two million, were in need of humanitarian assistance.
In December, Canada committed funding of $90 million over three years to respond to the rising needs of vulnerable Palestinian refugees.
This report was first published by The Canadian Press on May 28, 2021.
This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.
Maan Alhmidi, The Canadian Press