Humanitarian organizations welcome Canada’s vote in favour of a ceasefire

For immediate release

Montreal/Ottawa/Toronto, December 12, 2023 –  Canada’s position on a ceasefire in Gaza is finally moving forward. In addition to calling for the immediate and unconditional release of all remaining hostages, Justin Trudeau today expressed Canada’s support for a ceasefire, heeding the calls of millions of Canadians.

We welcome this change in Canada’s position in favour of a ceasefire, both in the Prime Minister’s statement released today, together with Australia and New Zealand, and through the vote at the United Nations General Assembly in support of an immediate ceasefire. Humanitarian organizations have been calling for a ceasefire for weeks while witnessing the unimaginable death and destruction in Gaza.  It is now urgent to make the resolution a reality as quickly as possible for the people of Gaza, including our teams on the ground, who are living in “apocalyptic” conditions according to the United Nations. We are ready to operate and eager to scale up our work to respond to the urgent needs of the entire population of Gaza.

We are pleased to see Canada take the opportunity to make a difference on the international stage and help alleviate the suffering of 2.3 million people in Gaza by complementing its funding of the emergency response with diplomatic efforts to halt the violence and enable the delivery of aid.

The diplomatic efforts undertaken with Australia and New Zealand must continue with other countries, particularly the United States, in order to continue to make progress towards the achievement of a permanent ceasefire, the single most important humanitarian response that Gaza needs now.

While our 10 humanitarian agencies are able to support our local teams and partner organizations who are still managing – against all odds – to deliver some life-saving aid, it is impossible for agencies to provide the full-scale humanitarian response that is desperately needed in the face of hostilities and ongoing closure of access points into Gaza.

“We welcome this change in Canada’s position in favor of a ceasefire at the UN vote, which we have been calling for for weeks. I would like to thank all those who have signed our petition and mobilized for the respect of international humanitarian law. We now need to make this resolution tangible as soon as possible for the people of Gaza, who are living in agony. Humanitarians organizations such as Oxfam-Québec are now ready to support civilians now. When can we start our work and alleviate the suffering of the people?” said Béatrice Vaugrante, Executive Director of Oxfam-Québec.

Doctors of the World Canada welcomes Canada’s vote in favour of this resolution calling for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire. With this vote, Canada joins a growing number of states in recognizing that the indiscriminate violence against civilians in Gaza must end now. Without such a ceasefire, we cannot rescue, care and save lives. ”
Nadja Pollaert, Executive Director, Doctors of the World Canada. 

“Mennonite Central Committee Canada is encouraged by and grateful for this step by the Canadian government. We recognize that government officials listened and responded to the voices of Canadians, including many MCC supporters, in expressing support for a clear and sustainable ceasefire. As a faith-based body with decades of peacebuilding experience, MCC continues to believe that peace is possible and encourages the Canadian government to continue to use all our diplomatic capacities to work for a sustainable ceasefire and lasting, just peace. Despite ongoing violence, MCC partners in Gaza continue to attempt to deliver humanitarian assistance and are positioned to continue once a ceasefire is achieved and into the future.”
Rick Cober Bauman, Executive Director Mennonite Central Committee Canada 

“It’s high time that Canada takes a stand in support of a ceasefire in Gaza. After weeks of watching the devastation and violence in Gaza and witnessing tens of thousands of deaths, we are finally seeing a shift in Canada’s position. Millions of people in Canada have been waiting for this moment following weeks of rallies across the country. We are pleased the government heeded these calls. We now need to see this resolution turned into reality so that humanitarian organizations including Oxfam Canada can finally mount the kind of humanitarian response needed. Our teams stand ready to scale up our response and address the urgent needs of the entire 2.3 million people in Gaza.” 
Lauren Ravon, Executive Director, Oxfam Canada

“In addition to calling for the immediate and definitive ceasefire, Canada must maintain its continued call for immediate, safe, and unfettered humanitarian access and respect for International Humanitarian Law to allow for a massive scale-up in aid supplies into Gaza and the personnel needed to reach civilians with life-saving support. With limited or no humanitarian support, children and families are just as likely to die of starvation, dehydration and communicable illness as they are of bombing. Safe humanitarian access is critical to saving lives.” 

Danny Glenwright, President and CEO, Save the Children Canada 

“”Human Concern International welcomes the recent vote by Canada in favor of Ceasefire. We hoped we didn’t have to witness 20,000 lives being lost before this step from our Government. HCI, alongside its partners, and thanks to the unwavering support of Canadian donors, has been actively involved in responding to the crisis in Gaza. The current state of affairs necessitates an immediate and sustained international response to prevent further loss of life and alleviate the suffering of the innocent civilians caught in this conflict. We are very hopeful from here onwards Canada will be on the right side of history.“ 
Mahmuda Khan, Executive Director, Human Concern International

Action Against Hunger Canada

CARE Canada

HelpAge Canada

Human Concern International

Humanity & Inclusion Canada

Doctors of the World Canada

Mennonite Central Committee Canada

Oxfam Canada


Save the Children Canada.


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