Practice Relating to Rule 131. Treatment of Displaced Persons
Section E. International assistance to displaced persons
In 2005, in response to a question relating, inter alia, to the provision of assistance to Palestinian refugees, Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs stated:
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees, the UNRWA, was established prior to the refugee convention relating to the status of refugees. It was given specific authority to provide assistance to Palestinian refugees.
Reflecting this unique political situation of the Palestinian refugees, the international community, through the UN General Assembly, requires UNRWA to continue to provide humanitarian assistance pending a political situation.
In 2012, in a statement on the strengthening of the coordination of humanitarian and disaster relief assistance of the United Nations, the permanent representative of Canada stated:
We recognize the immense pressure that the influx of refugees [from Syria] is placing on refugee host countries and communities. We commend the generosity of neighbouring states – Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq – in welcoming refugees fleeing the violence in Syria. Their generosity is borne from a genuine spirit of humanitarianism.
In 2013, Canada’s Office of the Prime Minister issued a press release entitled “PM announces further support to those affected by the ongoing conflict in Syria”, which stated:
Canada is providing $90 million in support to humanitarian organizations operating in Syria and in refugee-hosting countries with a view to urgently provide food, clean water and sanitation, emergency health care, shelter, and protection for populations affected by the Syrian crisis.
In 2013, Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development issued a press release entitled “Canada Outlines Humanitarian Assistance in Response to Syrian Crisis”, which stated:
Canada’s humanitarian assistance will address the urgent needs of up to 6.8 million conflict-affected people (including 3.1 million children) living in Syria, 4.25 million of whom are internally displaced. It will also help address the urgent needs of close to two million refugees from Syria in neighbouring countries and Nord Africa.
“Canada is helping to ensure that Syrian people affected by the crisis receive the life-saving emergency support they need,” said Minister Paradis. “Canada’s support will help to ensure that emergency health services, shelter, food, water and protection are provided to the most vulnerable people affected by the conflict both inside Syria and in neighbouring countries.”
In 2013, in a statement during the 68th Session of the UN General Assembly, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada stated: “I commend the work of the UNHCR in providing assistance to the refugees fleeing this terrible conflict [in Syria], and the generosity of Syria’s neighbours in providing safe havens.”
In 2013, Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development issued a press release entitled “Canada outlines humanitarian assistance in response to Syrian crisis”, which stated:
Canada’s humanitarian assistance will help address the urgent needs of more than eight million conflict-affected and displaced persons living in Syria and in the region, more than four million of whom are children.
Canada’s support will provide emergency shelter, food, nutrition, clean water and sanitation, education, and basic health services, including psycho-social and gender-based violence support.
“The Syrian people have been subject to appalling levels of violence and brutality and we continue to call on all parties to the conflict to provide unhindered humanitarian access and allow for the safe delivery of emergency relief to those in need,” added Minister Paradis. “Canada will continue working to meet the basic needs of conflict-affected Syrians living in the country, as well as Syrian refugees who have sought asylum in neighbouring countries.”