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Monday, 29 January 2024 16:57

UN Secretary General Pleads Nations to Keep Donating UNRWA

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Palestinians stand at the entrance of the UNRWA-run University College for Educational Science Ramallah city in the occupied West Bank, Palestine on Monday (29/01/2024). (Photo: AFP/Jaafar Ashtiyeh)


United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Saturday asked donor countries to guarantee the continuity of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine - UNRWA. The statement was given after some countries announced to temporarily stop donations to the agency because of the allegation of UNWRA's staff in Hamas attack against Israel on October 7.

Despite understanding donor countries' concerns, Guterres asked them to at least guarantee UNRWA's operational continuity.


Ambassador of Israel to the UN Gilad Erdan during the International Holocaust Remembrance Day said the UNRWA members joined in the Hamas attack on October 7.


The statement was answered by UNRWA by firing some staff. However, some UNRWA donor countries responded by stopping the funding. Germany, the UK, Italy, Australia, and Finland on Saturday followed the US, based on Israel's accusation, in stopping additional funding to UNRWA.


Guterres said despite the wrongdoing of some UNRWA staff, the other thousands of humanitarian workers should not be sanctioned too. According to him, the urgent need of the desperate people served by UNRWA must still be fulfilled.


Meanwhile, UNRWA Director Philippe Lazzarini on X revealed the possibility of UNRWA activity cessation due to funding being stopped. According to him, UNRWA's operation, upon which 2 million people in Gaza are dependent, is doomed to fail. Lazzarini showed some shock towards the temporary funding suspension.


Israel's allegation should be followed by legal process. And it should not make countries stop or suspend funding to UNRWA.


This does not only affect UNRWA, but also the Palestinians suffering from the war.


UNRWA was founded based on the UN General Assembly Resolution 302 on December 8, 1949 to carry out direct support and working programs for Palestinian refugees.


Because there is no solution to Palestinian refugee issue, the UN General Assembly has repeatedly renewed the UNRWA mandate. Along with the war between Hamas and Israel broke in October, this UN agency is highly needed.


It would be "regrettable" if the support for the severely suffering war victims was forced to stop because of the stopped funding.

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