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May 29, 2024

Canada’s nurses reaffirm support for health care workers in Gaza


As nurses and health care professionals, members of the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions (CFNU) continue to be alarmed by the situation in Gaza. Like many labour and humanitarian groups in Canada, we are deeply concerned about the dire situation in Gaza. The loss of life is estimated by local authorities to be at 35,000 with an additional 70,000 people injured. Most of the civilian infrastructure has been destroyed, with much of the population displaced and living in deplorable circumstances. Hunger and unsanitary conditions risk the spread of epidemics.

Hospitals have not been spared, according to the United Nations and aid groups. The few remaining hospitals in North Gaza that had managed to maintain some function since attacks and raids in November and December 2023 have recently received evacuation orders and are under intense airstrikes and shelling. Since May 22, all three hospitals in Northern Gaza have been inaccessible, and any remaining staff are struggling to maintain service.

Hospitals and ambulances have special protection under international humanitarian law. They should never be used for military purposes or be targeted. The CFNU condemns the siege on Gaza and the ongoing targeting of health care workers and infrastructure. The CFNU is calling for an immediate and sustained ceasefire, and the resumption of delivery of humanitarian services and supplies to the Gaza strip.

Given the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza, and the urgent and ongoing need for access to medical help, the CFNU will be making an additional contribution to Doctors without Borders/ Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). We urge CFNU members and health care workers across Canada to consider contributing as well.