Calls for Ceasefire Must Go Hand in Hand with Announced Government Matching Fund

October 27th, 2023 — Today, the Government of Canada announced that it will match, dollar-for-dollar, donations made to its Gaza Humanitarian Emergency Appeal, up to a maximum of $10 million. Islamic Relief Canada reaffirms our call for an immediate ceasefire to accompany critical humanitarian funding.

With growing escalations of violence, Islamic Relief Canada is deeply concerned by the scale and gravity of the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Gaza. The latest estimates from the United Nations indicate that over 7,400 people in Gaza have been killed, over 20,000 are injured, and over 1,600  are missing. More than one million people have been forced to leave their homes and are now displaced. The crippling and total blockade on Gaza means a population of over 2.2 million people are without access to food, water, medicine, fuel, electricity and essential aid. 

For days, our teams on the ground have warned that nowhere in Gaza is safe for civilians, nor humanitarian workers, as scores of hospitals, homes, schools, and places of worship have come under attack. Islamic Relief’s own office in Gaza was attacked and completely destroyed, and our partner – photojournalist Roshdi Sarraj – was also killed by a bomb in his home. It remains increasingly difficult and dangerous for our staff and other humanitarian workers to assist the suffering civilian population as they continue to face constant and indiscriminate bombing. 

Now with news of a ground invasion and a complete shutdown of communication in Gaza, we have lost contact with our staff on the ground. We are deeply worried for our brave staff and partners, their families, and the long-suffering of the people of Gaza as they face dark days ahead. 

The provision of humanitarian assistance must go hand in hand with calls for a ceasefire so that civilian lives are protected and humanitarian workers can be granted rapid, safe and unimpeded access to carry out their crucial life-saving activities. Islamic Relief Canada calls on the Canadian government to take immediate action to protect civilians and respect the outcome of today’s vote at the United Nations; that is, to push for an “immediate humanitarian truce” to prevent a further catastrophic loss of life. 

The Humanitarian Coalition is made up of 12 of Canada’s largest international humanitarian agencies, and donations made to any of its members will be matched retroactively from October 7, 2023, until the end of the appeal on November 12, 2023.