May 27, 2021
TORONTO – Unifor has donated $250,000 to Doctors Without Borders/ Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) to respond to the immediate health, mental health, psychosocial and emergency response needs, and to carry out essential emergency interventions during the hostilities in Gaza.
“We were shocked by the images of brutality and violence against Palestinians, including deliberate targeting of refugee camps, medical clinics and international news media offices,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias.
“Unifor wrote to the prime minister asking that Canada condemn the attacks, work with the international community to provide emergency relief to the Palestinian people and for an immediate end to the sale of Canadian military goods and technology to Israel.”
In the past two weeks, according to news reports, more than 240 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza – including more than 60 children – with more than 1,900 injured and more than 90,000 displaced from their homes. A dozen Israelis, including two children, have also been killed.
“We know these funds in the hands of MSF will be used to provide critical and urgent care for those suffering,” said Unifor Secretary-Treasurer Lana Payne.
“In the meantime, Unifor urges international leaders to engage in meaningful dialogue to prevent further escalations during this tenuous ceasefire. International law and human rights must be respected and followed if the cycle of violence is to end,” said Payne.
“On behalf of MSF, I would like to thank the Unifor Social Justice Fund for your ongoing, and most recent support of MSF projects in Gaza, and in India and Mexico – two countries that have been deeply impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Your support is helping to provide essential medical humanitarian care for people made most vulnerable.” said MSF Canada Director of Fundraising Jasmina Graho.
“MSF teams are urgently responding to emergencies like the ones we are seeing in Gaza, India and Mexico, all the while keeping our regular projects running to meet both new and existing needs despite extraordinary pressures.”
The donations were unanimously approved by the board of Unifor’s Social Justice Fund. Unifor locals and members are also urged to provide their solidarity and support by donating to MSF by visiting: https://www.doctorswithoutborders.ca
Unifor also donated $150,000 to support MSF's emergency medical humanitarian efforts in India and $50,000 to help with its work in Mexico. These donations will assist with MSF's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, while providing essential medical care and assistance to meet both new and existing health needs in both countries.
Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector and represents 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.
Information about the union's response to the pandemic, as well as resources for members can be found at unifor.org/covid19.
To arrange for interviews, in-person or via Skype or FaceTime, please contact Unifor Communications Representative Stuart Laidlaw at @email or 647-385-4054 (cell).