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FILE PHOTO: Palestinian employees at the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) prepare food aid rations for refugees, in Gaza city on January 19, 2022

Majdi Fathi via Reuters Connect

Hard Numbers: Alt-aid for Gaza, 2024 economic outlook, Continent-sized drug racket busted, Stolen bear on the loose

30 million: Canada has made a new pledge to send nearly $30 million in aid to Gaza. The move comes after Canada followed the US lead in cutting funding to UNRWA, the UN relief agency, in light of Israeli accusations that members of the organization had participated in the Oct. 7 attacks. According to the last full year of data, in 2022 Canada gave about $24 million to UNRWA. The new batch of Canadian aid will be delivered by other UN agencies such as UNICEF, the UN Population Fund, and the World Health Organization. (What’s UNRWA and why is it controversial? Read our explainer here.)

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Fatima, 7, one of Azrat's eight children, is tying to stay warm in Kabul, 24 November 2020.

Stefanie Glinski/Thomson Reuters Foundation

Winter has come to Afghanistan

A much-feared humanitarian and economic crisis in Afghanistan has now begun, and the country's Taliban government has issued an urgent appeal for cash. In particular, its foreign minister has called on Washington to help.

After the Taliban seized power in August, the US, World Bank, and International Monetary cut off Afghanistan's access to more than $9.5 billion in foreign reserves and loans. The Taliban want the Biden administration to release this money and to allow the World Bank and IMF, institutions in which Washington wields exceptional influence, to free up loans. So far, the White House has said no.

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