Statement by the Humanitarian Coalition on the humanitarian situation in Gaza, West Bank and Israel

Statement revised November 7, 2023

Toronto, ON, October 21, 2023 – Together, as a collective of neutral, impartial and independent humanitarian organizations working toward the preservation of life and protection of civilian populations around the world, we are extremely concerned by the escalation of violence in Gaza, the West Bank and Israel, and the catastrophic repercussions this violence is having on innocent lives. Thousands of civilians – including children – are suffering as a result of countless attacks, hunger, dehydration, sickness and the absence of healthcare and humanitarian assistance. In Gaza, the UN has said that water, food, fuel and medical supplies are running out. While our organizations and local partners are providing some immediate assistance to civilians on the ground, we are restricted in our ability to proceed due to the lack of safe humanitarian access and the unstable security situation.

In order to continue carrying out life-saving aid operations, we are calling on the Canadian government and the international community to take diplomatic action to:

  1. Demand a ceasefire. As in any conflict with such significant loss of life, a ceasefire is essential to save lives, prevent the destruction of civilian infrastructure, and allow the delivery of critical aid and humanitarian assistance to suffering civilians. Humanitarian workers cannot operate safely under bombing campaigns and military strikes.
  2. Demand unimpeded humanitarian access. Despite recent international negotiations, life-saving aid is still mostly blocked from entering Gaza. Our organizations are also facing barriers in entering the West Bank, where humanitarian needs are growing. Aid must be allowed to reach those who need it most and must be accompanied by the restoration of essential public services including fuel, electricity and water.
  3. Ensure the protection of civilians and humanitarian personnel. Canada must urge all parties to uphold international humanitarian law, including the immediate release of hostages, and condemn any and all attacks targeting civilians, civilian infrastructure, as well as medical and humanitarian personnel.

About Plan International Canada

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We stand with children, especially girls, wherever they are oppressed, exploited, left behind or not equally valued. We’re determined optimists and will continue to persevere until we are all equal.

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