UN Palestinian aid agency risks closure by february without funds resumption


The UN aid agency for Palestinian refugees said on Thursday that foreign funding shortages could force it to shut its activities in the region “by the end of February”.

Several major UNRWA donors have said that they will withhold financing after Israel alleges that 12 agency workers were involved in Hamas’s October 7 attack.

According to UNRWA chief Philippe Lazzarini, “if funding remains suspended, we will most likely be forced to shut down our operations not only in Gaza but also across the region” by the end of February.

Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said following talks with Lazzarini that he “emphasized the immediate need for the international community to support UNRWA, which plays an indispensable role for Palestinian refugees, serving as a lifeline for over two million Palestinian facing an unprecedented humanitarian crisis in Gaza”.

According to a foreign ministry statement in Amman, both Safadi and Lazzarini urged countries who had discontinued UNRWA aid to “reconsider their decision”.

“Any reduction in financial support provided to the agency will exacerbate the suffering of the people of Gaza, who are already on the brink of mass starvation,” the statement went on to say.b

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