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  • Writer's pictureMichael Laxer

Western Countries Punish UNRWA for Work in the Gaza Strip

By Global News Service

On January 27, a set of Western countries announced they would end their funding of UNRWA, the United Nations agency for Palestine refugees, after Israel accused some staff members of involvement in the October 7, 2023 Al-Aqsa Flood operation.

In a matter of hours, the United States, Germany, Canada, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Italy, and a couple of other allies announced they would cease contributions to the organization’s work. While some stated the cuts would be temporary, until an internal investigation is concluded, UN officials pointed out that the move will essentially end the agency’s work on the ground—at the worst possible moment, as two million people in Gaza depend on the UNRWA for the very limited food, water, and other necessities they are able to get.

As pointed out by Philippe Lazzarini, UNRWA Commissioner-General, the agency is hosting thousands of displaced people in its centers and providing what health care is possible in the circumstances. “Some 3,000 core staff out of 13,000 in Gaza continue to report to work, giving their communities a lifeline which can collapse anytime now due to lack of funding,” Lazzarini warned.

The U.S. and Germany are UNRWA’s two top donors. In 2022, they provided over $545 million to the agency—more than the other 18 top donors from the Global North combined.



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