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Japan FM announces to deliver $35m aid to Gaza as UNRWA funding resumes

April 2, 2024 at 1:16 pm

Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa remarks at the UN Security Council Stakeout at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, United States on 18 March, 2024 [Selçuk Acar/Anadolu Agency]

Japanese Foreign Minister, Yoko Kamikawa, announced on Tuesday the resumption of funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), with $35 million to be released, Reuters reports.

According to the report, Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa said $35 million of the originally planned funding will be released for Gaza.

“The humanitarian situation in the Palestinian Territory of Gaza continues to worsen. It is our country’s responsibility to respond to the crisis as a member of the UN Security Council,” she said.

Kamikawa cited the worsening humanitarian situation in Gaza as the reason for Japan’s decision, emphasising Japan’s responsibility as a member of the UN Security Council to address the crisis.

Earlier this year, Japan joined several of its western allies, including the US and the UK, to halt the funding to the UN agency in the wake of allegations by Tel Aviv against UNRWA.

Israel has repeatedly equated UNRWA staff with Hamas members in efforts to discredit them, providing no proof of the claims, while lobbying hard to have UNRWA closed as it is the only UN agency to have a specific mandate to look after the basic needs of Palestinian refugees. If the Agency no longer exists, argues Israel, then the refugee issue must no longer exist, and the legitimate right for Palestinian refugees to return to their land will be unnecessary. Israel has denied that Right of Return since the late 1940s, even though its own membership of the UN was made conditional upon Palestinian refugees being allowed to return to their homes and land.

READ: Israel proposes plan to dismantle UNRWA