UNITED NATIONS, Jan 30 (IPS) – The results of the investigation into the 12 United Nations Reduction and Works Company for Palestine Refugees within the Close to East (UNRWA) staffers allegedly linked to the October 7 Hamas assault in Israel have led to main donor nations pulling their help from the UN company. Nonetheless, the company has appealed to the governments to proceed the help the the face of the humanitarian disaster in Gaza.
The primary to droop their funding was the US on January 26. Since then, donor nations which have suspended funding embody Britain, France, Germany, Finland, Canada, and the European Union.
The widespread cause cited was that funding wouldn’t be continued till an consequence was reached following an investigation into the allegations towards the UNRWA workers members.
This UN company is basically depending on funding from donors, notably main member states like the US, which was its largest donor in 2022 with a contribution of greater than USD 343 million. In that very same 12 months, the US, Germany, and EU member states had been among the many largest particular person donors, accounting for 61.4 % of the company’s general funding.
Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric briefed reporters on Monday on the investigation into UNRWA after the Israeli authorities offered allegations that workers at UNRWA had been concerned within the October 7.
He confirmed that the UN Workplace of Inside Oversight (OIOS) has begun its investigation into the company and that Secretary Common António Guterres met with the top of OIOS to make sure that the investigation could be carried out “as swiftly and as effectively as attainable.” He additionally knowledgeable reporters that Guterres could be assembly with the UN Everlasting Representatives of UNRWA donor nations on Tuesday.
In a separate assertion, Guterres expressed that he was “horrified by these accusations.” He additionally “strongly appealed to the governments which have contributions to, no less than, assure the continuity of UNRWA’s operations.”
It’s essential that UNRWA’s operations proceed within the present humanitarian disaster as a result of 2 million civilians in Gaza rely on the help it offers.
“No different group than UNRWA has the infrastructure to do the work that they do,” stated Dujarric.
UNRWA’s operations vary from offering education to shelters to working well being care facilities. Because the present struggle between Israel and Hamas, no less than 145 UNRWA amenities have been broken.
In a latest state of affairs report from UNRWA, it was acknowledged that 1.7 million displaced folks had been sheltered throughout emergency shelters, each public and people run by UNRWA, including that these shelters had been congested. Solely 4 out of twenty-two UNRWA well being care facilities are operational, and 152 workers members have been reported lifeless. In the meantime, 3,000 out of the 13,000 UNRWA workers members, nearly all of whom are Palestinian, are nonetheless in Gaza, persevering with their work.
Regardless of its essential presence and the pressing wants it addresses, allegations of workers members’ involvement with Hamas have undermined help for UNRWA. The Israeli authorities supplied a file to the US, which detailed the allegations that no less than 10 % of UNRWA had been a part of Hamas. This file has not been shared with the UN, in keeping with Dujarric.
Whereas present measures by UNRWA had been to single out the 12 staffers accused and terminate their contracts, the suspension of funds by the most important donor nations could have undeniably impacted all the company’s operations.
In a press release, UNRWA Commissioner-Common Phillipe Lazzarini acknowledged that “it will be immensely irresponsible to sanction an company and a complete group it serves due to allegations of prison acts towards some people, particularly at a time of struggle, displacement, and political crises within the area.”
Lazzarini urged UNRWA to “strengthen its framework for the strict adherence of all workers to humanitarian ideas” by calling for a further impartial investigation by outdoors consultants along with the OIOS investigation.
IPS UN Bureau Report
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