Call for Unhindered Humanitarian Aid in Conflict Zones: Supporting Civilians and Frontline Workers
Thousands of people, including children, have already perished in the violence in Palestine and Israel in recent weeks. Many more are injured, displaced, held hostage, or are attempting to flee from these atrocities. Our thoughts are with those impacted by this violence, including some of our own at Imagine, who have friends and family members in both Palestine and Israel. We condemn all acts of anti-Palestinian racism, Islamophobia and antisemitism, which are on the rise here in Canada and around the world as the violence intensifies.
The charitable and nonprofit sector exists to help communities thrive and build a more equitable, just and fair society for all. The sector also plays a crucial role in the delivery of aid on the ground during times of humanitarian crisis, such as the catastrophic humanitarian situation in Gaza. We condemn all acts that prevent the sector from playing this life-saving role.
As the national umbrella organization for the nonprofit sector, we’re calling for charities, nonprofits and NGOs to be provided unfettered access to conflict zones, allowing them to deliver critical humanitarian aid and serve civilians impacted by the conflict. We’re calling for a lasting stop to all violence against civilians and for the international sector to be able to deliver this aid safely and securely. In Gaza, the West Bank, and neighbouring areas, news reports indicate that limited humanitarian aid has reached the population, but it is not sufficient to respond to urgent needs. We're also joining the call of humanitarian organizations for the immediate release of all hostages, and for NGOs to have access to these individuals to provide assistance and medical care.
As we think of the people impacted by this violence and the assistance they urgently need, our thoughts are also with the nonprofit and NGO workers who are working tirelessly to coordinate relief efforts and assist civilians on the ground. In global conflicts, humanitarian aid workers deliver critical support to civilians by providing food, water, shelter, and medical care; some are risking their own lives to assist individuals, often under the most trying of circumstances.
The Civil Society in the UK wrote on October 30 that charities were reporting communication issues with staff in Gaza, putting workers at greater risk. United Nations agencies and other humanitarian groups said that “scores of aid workers” have been killed since October 7, and over 100 attacks against health care have been reported. In a joint statement published on November 5, the groups renewed their plea “for the parties to respect all their obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law.”
Governments must let humanitarian organizations do their jobs, and that includes respecting their ability to protect their staff.
Today, we want to express our deepest gratitude to the humanitarian organizations and their front line workers for their dedication and courage.
We encourage those who are able to consider donating to relief efforts. CanadaHelps has assembled a list of registered Canadian charities that are providing life-saving humanitarian assistance to those impacted by the violence. We also encourage donations to the Humanitarian Coalition’s Gaza Humanitarian Emergency Appeal, which the Government of Canada recently committed to matching contributions made between Oct. 7 and Nov. 12 up to a maximum of $10 million.