...UNRWA now supports 4.7 million registered Palestinian refugees living in a number of countries in the region, including Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.
From 1990 to 2006, CIDA provided UNRWA with about $10 million each year in core funding. That amount increased to $15 million in 2007. Canada also provided anywhere from $1 million to $16 million in response to UNRWA emergency appeals during that time. Altogether, Canada alternated between being UNRWA's sixth- and seventh-largest donor.
However, in 2009, Canada quietly stopped providing core funding to the agency. Instead, all money was redirected exclusively to an emergency appeal in the West Bank and Gaza, primarily for food aid.
The decision did not become public until January 2010 when Public Safety Minister Vic Toews revealed the move during a trip to Israel. CIDA Minister Bev Oda's office maintains the decision was made to align Canada's contributions to UNRWA with CIDA's desire to increase aid effectiveness and accountability.
"The redirecting of funding to UNRWA program-specific activities in food security is in line with our Aid Effectiveness Agenda and responds to a key priority of the Palestinians," spokesman Justin Broekema said in an email. "By focusing on emergency appeals, we can ensure our aid continues to be effective and responsive to needs."
Frank Dimant, executive vice-president of Jewish group B'Nai Brith Canada, which has been one of the most vocal Canadian critics of UNRWA, says the revelation Israel was asking Canada to reverse its decision is proof the change was based purely on aid accountability.
"I think this is a wonderful example of how Canada determines its own foreign policy, irrespective of what others may want it to do," Mr. Dimant said. "That not withstanding what some of the Arab dictatorships or the American government, or even for that matter what Israel wanted...that humanitarian aid is a necessity, but it has to be channelled properly, especially in areas that are controlled by terrorists.
"B'Nai Brith is proud that we advocated for change and that the government listened in spite of all the pressure from those other governments," he added. "I think it's very, very important that Canadian tax dollars be used in the most efficient way for humanitarian purposes. That there be no ambiguity in terms of it falling by the wayside to assist any kind of terrorist organization."
As with other stories about CIDA funding to UNRWA, the Israeli Embassy refused to comment for this story, saying it was an internal Canadian issue...Don't tell me--"humanitarian" UNRWA also hands out puppies and kittens to adorable Palestinian moppets, right?
Good on Stephen Harper for not falling for the UNRWA scam, and shame on Embassy for championing these Zion-loathers, no questions asked.
Update: Embassy isn't the only one to detect sinister doings related to UNRWA:
Update: Here's my UNRWA song (with hats off to Del):Following strong protests, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency on Monday restored its original name and logo to its official website.
The protests erupted after the agency recently dropped the words “relief” and “works” from its website, describing itself only as the “UN agency for Palestinian refugees.”
The change in the name and logo sparked fears among Palestinians that the agency has decided to cut its services to Palestinian refugees.
Representatives of the refugees and Hamas leaders accused UNRWA of being part of a “conspiracy” to liquidate the problem of the refugees and deny them the “right of return” to their homes inside Israel.
Last week Palestinians staged a demonstration in front of the UNRWA headquarters in the Gaza Strip in protest against the change of the name and logo...
As they seethe and rage
They squander ev'ry age;
The "Naqba" has got 'em in knot.
And as they show their keys
They think of the Jew "thieves"
Who've "stolen" everything they've got.
They're a-moanin' 'bout their fate.
Want to eliminate
The Jew state they all hate.
Some people think that's great.
Folks from UNRWA,
From UN, UN, UN, UN, UNRWA
Lie, lie, lie, lie, lie, about Hamas.
And at UNRWA Jew-hate's a plus,
At rotten UNRWA,
UN, UN, UN, UN, UNRWA...