Canada gives $50M to UN Pales­tinian refugee body

Times Colonist - - B.c. / Canada -

OT­TAWA — Canada is con­tribut­ing $50 mil­lion to the United Na­tions Pales­tinian refugee agency — af­ter the United States de­cided to stop fund­ing what it called an “ir­re­deemably flawed” or­ga­ni­za­tion.

The new Cana­dian funds an­nounced Fri­day will be al­lo­cated over two years to as­sist the health and ed­u­ca­tion ef­forts of the United Na­tions Re­lief and Works Agency for Pales­tine Refugees, or UNRWA.

The U.S. gov­ern­ment de­cided in Au­gust to with­draw $300 mil­lion US in sup­port, end­ing the United States’ sta­tus as the largest donor for an or­ga­ni­za­tion that had been try­ing to help more than five mil­lion Pales­tinian refugees.

Is­rael has ac­cused the agency of be­ing bi­ased, fu­elling its con­flict with the Pales­tini­ans and pro­mot­ing ha­tred against the Jewish state.

Canada’s for­eign min­istry said the new funds will help bring sta­bil­ity to the re­gion by help­ing Pales­tini­ans cope with poverty, unem­ploy­ment and food in­se­cu­rity.

It said the money also will as­sist UNRWA with “its on­go­ing ef­forts to im­prove neu­tral­ity within the agency and its op­er­a­tions.”

The Euro­pean Union re­cently pledged an ex­tra $46 mil­lion US to UNRWA to sup­port its health and ed­u­ca­tion ser­vices.

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