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28 January 2024 - 15:31
UNRWA denounces shocking funding cuts by US

Head Of UN agency 'UNRWA' denounces ‘shocking’ funding cuts amid claims that its staffers were involved in Hamas’ attack on Israel.

The head of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), Philippe Lazzarini, on Saturday, denounced a move by a growing number of countries to pull funding for the agency following allegations by Israel that some of its staffers participated in Hamas’ attack on Israel on Oct. 7.

Finland, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Italy, the UK, and Germany announced suspensions of funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) on Saturday.

Those announcements followed the US, Australia, and Canada, who suspended funding on Friday.

Philippe Lazzarini, commissioner general of the agency, said it was “shocking” to see the suspension, especially since the agency took “immediate action” to terminate the contracts of the accused staffers and investigate the allegations.

Citing Friday’s ruling from the International Court of Justice that ordered Israel to take measures to enable humanitarian assistance for people in Gaza, Lazzarini said it would be “immensely irresponsible” to sanction the agency and those it serves “because of allegations of criminal acts against some individuals.”

UNRWA is the largest humanitarian actor in Gaza with 3,000 core staff on the ground, per Lazzarini’s statement. Israel has in the past accused UNRWA of spreading pro-Hamas propaganda.

News ID 196981

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