Cooperation Canada’s statement on the crisis in Gaza, West Bank and Israel

Cooperation Canada’s statement on the crisis in Gaza, West Bank and Israel

Cooperation Canada is horrified by the escalating violence and loss of life in Gaza, West Bank and Israel, and sympathizes with the victims and their families. We are deeply concerned by the worsening humanitarian crisis and call for an immediate end to the violence. 

Cooperation Canada urges all parties engaged in the conflict to respect International Humanitarian Law and uphold it to its fullest. Civilian safety and well-being must be the top priority. Parties in the conflict must refrain from targeting civilians, as well as schools, hospitals, and other vital civilian infrastructure. 

We applaud the Government of Canada’s announcement of $10 million in funding for humanitarian assistance to address urgent humanitarian needs resulting from the crisis, announced yesterday by the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of International Development. We encourage Canada to play a leading role in advocating for safe, swift, and unobstructed humanitarian access to affected regions, allowing crucial assistance like water, food, fuel, and health supplies to reach the people in dire need. 

Our thoughts are with those affected by this violence and crisis, and we urge leaders to pursue a peaceful resolution that guarantees the safety of all those affected. 

Aid for Afghanistan Coalition Statement: The Passage of Bill C-41, An Act to Amend the Criminal Code and to Make Consequential Amendments to Other Acts

Aid for Afghanistan Coalition Statement: The Passage of Bill C-41, An Act to Amend the Criminal Code and to Make Consequential Amendments to Other Acts

The Aid for Afghanistan Coalition welcomes the adoption of Bill C-41 as a first step in enabling Canadian aid organizations to provide crucial humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan and other similar contexts. This legislation is needed to give Canadian aid organizations a path forward to ensure those who are in need of assistance receive it, regardless of where they are located. 

Over the past two years, Canadian aid organizations have advocated for the removal of barriers to much needed aid in places including Afghanistan, where Canadian aid organizations have been unable to work since the Taliban took control in August 2021.  

We believe that Bill C-41 is a step forward to allowing Canadian aid organizations to operate in a neutral, impartial and independent manner in these exceptional circumstances.  

We welcome the inclusion of a humanitarian exemption in Bill C-41, which covers a broad range of humanitarian work permitted under international law. These activities are vital for improving access to health care, ensuring access to food, water and sanitation, education, the protection of detainees and protecting human dignity. 

Looking ahead, there is more work to be done.  In the longer term we encourage movement away from requiring aid organizations to seek specific permission to operate and allow for a provision in legislation to ensure swift and efficient assistance to places where and when it is needed most. 

The Coalition will continue to work closely with partners to monitor the implementation of Bill C-41 and to ensure that it is done in a clear and effective way.  We look forward to sharing these observations at the Bill’s one-year review mark. 

We thank all Canadians who used their voice to help champion this issue. We know that humanitarian needs continue to grow, and assistance is needed now, more than ever. 



Canadian Red Cross 

World Vision Canada  

Islamic Relief Canada 

Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan 

Save the Children Canada 

Cooperation Canada 

Canadian Foodgrains Bank 

Presbyterian World Service & Development 

Humanitarian Coalition

Mennonite Central Committee Canada

Oxfam Canada 


Plan International Canada  

Development and Peace – Caritas Canada 

Canadian Partnership for Women and Children’s Health (CanWaCH) 

CARE Canada

#AidforAfghanistan Coalition of 18 Organizations Responds to Government Plan to Amend Criminal Code

#AidforAfghanistan Coalition of 18 Organizations Responds to Government Plan to Amend Criminal Code

March 9, 2023 (OTTAWA) Today, the Canadian government introduced Bill C-41, amending the Criminal Code to allow Canadian aid organizations to provide humanitarian support in Afghanistan without the fear of criminal prosecution. This is a critical and important step toward protecting the ability of humanitarian organizations to provide neutral and impartial aid in Afghanistan and other complex crises.

This action will bring Canada into better alignment with other nations such as Australia, the U.K. and the United States. In response to the introduction of this legislation, the #AidforAfghanistan Coalition of 18 leading Canadian organizations said:

“We welcome today’s announcement by the Government of Canada. We are encouraged that this step forward will not only support the need for humanitarian organizations to operate in Afghanistan, but also in similar contexts.

Today’s announcement is an important step forward in the right direction toward finding a permanent solution for the countless Afghan women, children and families who are counting on international aid and assistance to survive.

In the weeks to come, we look forward to engaging in constructive dialogue and working together with all parties to ensure these amendments are passed effectively and efficiently to allow Canadians to provide critical humanitarian aid and assistance to the people of Afghanistan and other countries with similar contexts.”

Under the #AidforAfghanistan campaign, we have worked to raise awareness of the impacts of regulatory barriers and their chilling effect. Such restrictions have prevented us from getting life-saving assistance to the most vulnerable during Afghanistan’s deepening humanitarian

crisis. In recognition of the need to allow for life-saving humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan, close to 10,000 Canadians have signed letters targeting their local MP, the Prime Minister, and the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, International Development, Justice and Public Safety.

Over the past eight months, we have worked with legal experts, Afghan Canadians, and women’s organizations to engage in constructive dialogue with all parties, who have all affirmed their commitment to ensuring that legislation must be amended to allow Canadian organizations to help the people of Afghanistan.

With today’s announcement, we look forward to continuing to work with all parties in the House of Commons to ensure that the solution allows for a definition of activities that is broad enough to encompass targeted gender programming, including education and healthcare for girls, food, shelter, clothing, and human rights work. We also call on all parties to work collaboratively to ensure this solution comes to fruition quickly.

The humanitarian situation inside Afghanistan today is dire. Over half of the population is in need of humanitarian assistance and there is a severe lack of food, medicines and essential supplies. This has resulted in grave impacts including an increase in child marriages and people taking extreme actions to survive. The people of Afghanistan need humanitarian aid, and they need it now.

Canada’s investment in Afghanistan over the last two decades has contributed to immense progress–particularly advances in gender equality. Canada has a long history of support for Afghanistan and the Afghan people and Canadians are particularly concerned for women and children, who have been increasingly vulnerable during the last 19 months.

Today’s proposed legislative change is a critical first step toward ensuring Canada’s legacy in Afghanistan continues in that spirit of support and commitment and to allowing Canadian organizations and our millions of supporters across Canada to once again provide desperately needed support to Afghan women, children and communities.”


For all media queries, please contact:

  1. Canadian Red Cross: (1-877-599-9602)
  2. Islamic Relief Canada: Reyhana Patel [email protected]
  3. Save the Children: Tiffany Baggetta [email protected]
  4. World Vision Canada: Lisa Baldock [email protected]