Canada gives $4M for Gaza relief

Canada will give $4 million to the United Nations and Red Cross to be used for humanitarian assistance in the Palestinian Territories, Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon said Wednesday.

Canada will give $4 million to the United Nations and Red Cross to be used for humanitarian assistance in the Palestinian Territories, Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon said Wednesday.

Of the money, $3 million will be given to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which distributes food and other humanitarian aid supplies to roughly 750,000 Palestinians.

The remaining $1 million will go to the Red Cross, said Cannon, who spoke to reporters following a Conservative caucus meeting in Ottawa.

"We are … extremely concerned with the humanitarian issue," said Cannon, who said he was grateful Israel has implemented a daily three-hour window to allow supplies into Gaza.

Cannon said he has spoken with a number of foreign ministers about the situation and that Canada is hopeful a diplomatic solution will end the 12-day Israeli military campaign against the Palestinian militant group Hamas, which controls Gaza.

International aid agencies say Gaza does not have enough food, fuel and medical supplies for the roughly 1.4 million people crowded into the tiny strip. Israel does allow daily shipments of supplies across border crossings and announced Tuesday it will implement three-hour humanitarian windows each day to allow more supplies through.

Canadians remain in Gaza

Canada is also working with consular officials in Israel, Jordan and Ramallah to help between 50 and 58 Canadians trying to leave the Gaza Strip, said Cannon.

"As soon as security conditions will be in place, we'll see to it that the Canadians leave, those who wish to leave," he said.

A group of about 18 Canadians were among a busload of foreign nationals turned back before they reached the Erez crossing into Israel on Monday.

The group came within a kilometre of the border but had to turn back after it was deemed too dangerous to cross.