Canadian Charities Call for Canada to Demand a Ceasefire and Opening of Humanitarian Corridors to Save Lives
Joint letter from HCI and fellow Canadian charities to honourable ministers and members of parliament, demanding a ceasefire and opening of humanitarian corridors to save lives in Gaza.
October 17, 2023
Dear Minister Joly,
Since October 9th, Gaza has been under a full siege by Israel, depriving its residents of essential resources including food, water, and electricity. Moreover, there’s been a continuous barrage on Gaza, targeting civilian homes indiscriminately. Disturbingly, ambulances and healthcare facilities, which serve as crucial lifelines in these challenging times, have also been under attack.
The humanitarian crisis in Gaza is unprecedented. Countless individuals have been displaced within Gaza’s borders, with the majority trapped with no safe exit. The death toll comprises thousands of Palestinians, with numerous others injured. Hospitals are grappling with emergencies daily. A single strike on the Ahli Arab Hospital has alone claimed hundreds of lives.
From the onset of this crisis, we’ve endeavored to coordinate with local partners to distribute aid funded from Canadian donors. However, with each passing day, our efforts face escalating challenges. For instance, a recent airstrike decimated the warehouses of a local humanitarian partner, obliterating stocks of blankets and hygiene supplies, funded by Canadian charities. Tragically, two humanitarian workers from that site remain unaccounted for.
In another heart-wrenching incident, an HCI aid worker, amidst power cuts and dwindling battery life, messaged, “We did our best building the water well with your contributions. I hope our efforts were enough. If you don’t hear from me again, please forgive any shortcomings.”
One Islamic Relief worker on the ground warned, “There is nowhere safe for civilians in Gaza. People went south because of Israel’s order but there is no shelter, no food, no water and the bombs are still falling. The bombing must stop or more civilians, including many children, will continue to die while the world watches. We feel like the international community has abandoned us.” Many humanitarian workers, torn between searching for their families, ensuring their own safety, or aiding innocent victims, face gut-wrenching decisions daily.
While we appreciate Canada’s pledge to consistently back UNRWA, which aids displaced civilians, mere funding is ineffective without the assurance of safe delivery.
We urge the Canadian Government:
- Lobby for an immediate ceasefire.
- Stand firm and demand rapid, safe, and unimpeded access for the delivery of humanitarian personnel and relief into Gaza.
- Demand that Israel respect the safety of humanitarian workers and humanitarian operational sites.
- Increase the aid directed to Gaza.
The lives of numerous innocent civilians are contingent upon immediate and decisive action.
Human Concern International
Islamic Relief Canada
Action for Humanity
Penny Appeal Canada
Union of Medical Care and Relief Organizations (UOSSM)
Refugee Girls Worldwide
Children of Islamic Nation Inc.
International Development and Relief Foundation
Relieve Humanity International