Canada continues funding for UNRWA

Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, announced on August 24, 2017 Canada’s continued support of up to $25 million to “Palestinian refugees” via the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

According to her official statement:1

  • “Canada’s support of up to $20 million will help meet the basic education, health and livelihood needs of millions of Palestinian refugees—especially women and children—as well as support the promotion of neutrality in the agency’s activities. The funding will also contribute to stability in the region by providing basic services to people whose needs would otherwise be unmet.”
  • “Canada’s support of up to $5 million to UNRWA’s Syria Emergency Appeal provides emergency life-saving assistance to more than 480,000 Palestinian refugees in Syria and Lebanon. The funding will provide humanitarian assistance for Palestinian refugees who have been severely affected by the ongoing crisis in Syria.”

Bibeau emphasized that “Canada is committed to assisting UNRWA in improving neutrality within the Agency and ensuring that there is enhanced due diligence in verifying that oversight is indeed robust.”

On November 16, 2016, Bibeau announced the renewing of UNRWA funding “to support education, health and social services for millions of vulnerable Palestinian refugees, as well as urgent humanitarian assistance.” The new funding included:2

  • $20 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) to help increase access to these essential services. A proportion of Canadian funding will also be used to expand training for staff on the proper and neutral use of social media.
  • $5 million to UNRWA’s emergency appeal for Palestinian refugees impacted by the crisis in Syria and surrounding areas.

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David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: and A new site,, will be launched very soon.