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International aid groups urge EU to resume funding for UN Agency for Palestinian refugees

February 29, 2024 at 7:52 pm

A view of destruction at UNRWA headquarters, which provides aid to millions of Palestinians and works under the United Nations, is targeted by Israel in Gaza City, Gaza on February 11, 2024. [Karam Hassan – Anadolu Agency]

A group of international aid organisations urged the EU and member states to resume funding for the UN Agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), stressing that no other organisation can replace its work in war-torn Gaza, Anadolu  Agency reports.

“We urge the EU and Member States to take note that other aid agencies cannot replicate UNRWA’s central role in the humanitarian response in Gaza, and amidst the current crisis,” they said in a joint statement.

The statement was signed by the International Rescue Committee, MdM International Network, Handicap International – Humanity & Inclusion, Norwegian Refugee Council, CARE International, Eurochild, Plan International, Mercy Corps, ActionAid International, Premiere Urgence Internationale, Save the Children, Action Against Hunger, Oxfam, Danish Refugee Council, Refugees International, War Child Alliance and Dan Church Aid.

They said that many aid groups will struggle “to even maintain their current operations without UNRWA’s partnership and support.”

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The statement also noted that the suspension of funding to the main aid provider for millions of Palestinians in Gaza will “impact life-saving assistance for over 2 million people.”

Several countries have suspended UNRWA funding after Tel Aviv allegedly that some of the Agency’s employees were involved in the cross-border attack on Israel on 7 October.

UNRWA said it terminated contracts with several employees following the Israeli allegations.

Israel has also imposed a crippling blockade on the Gaza Strip, leaving its population, particularly residents of northern Gaza, on the verge of starvation.

The Israeli war has pushed 85 per cent of Gaza’s population into internal displacement amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine, while 60 per cent of the enclave’s infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice. An interim ruling in January ordered Tel Aviv to stop genocidal acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

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