UN official warns of “inevitable” famine with countries pausing UNRWA funding
02/01/2024 // Ramon Tomey // Views

An official at the United Nations has warned of "inevitable" famine after several countries paused funding for the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).

Michael Fakri, the UN special rapporteur on the right to food, issued this warning in a Jan. 28 post on X. He wrote: "Some states decided to defund UNRWA for the alleged actions of a small number of employees. This collectively punishes [more than] 2.2 million Palestinians. Famine was imminent; famine is now inevitable."

The decision by the U.S. and several other countries to stop funding the UNRWA followed accusations by Israel that 12 of the group's employees took part in Hamas' Oct. 7 attack on Israel. These same employees also reportedly aided Hamas in the days following the incident.

The U.S. announced that it would suspend funding to the agency until the allegations were addressed. The United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Australia, Canada, Italy and Finland followed suit. Norway, Spain and Ireland refused to join them, announcing that they would continue funding the UNRWA.

Meanwhile, the agency said on Jan. 26 that it had severed ties with the employees reportedly involved and launched an investigation over the matter. (Related: United Nations agency in charge of Gaza relief to investigate claims that some of its employees took part in Oct. 7 attack.)

UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini remarked: "The Israeli authorities have provided [us] with information about the alleged involvement of several UNRWA employees in the horrific attacks on Israel on Oct. 7. To protect the agency's ability to deliver humanitarian assistance, I have taken the decision to immediately terminate the contracts of these staff members and launch an investigation in order to establish the truth without delay."

In a statement the following day, Lazzarini lamented the "shocking" actions of the U.S. and other benefactors in response to Tel Aviv's allegations. "These decisions threaten our ongoing humanitarian work across the region, including and especially in the Gaza Strip," he stated. "Many are hungry as the clock is ticking towards a looming famine."

Palestinian officials condemned the UNRWA defunding

Established in 1949, the UNRWA provides healthcare, education and humanitarian aid to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. It is the second-largest employer in Gaza after Hamas with 30,000 employees in all, and 13,000 of its employees are in the strip.

One senior Palestinian official denounced the decision by the U.S. and others to suspend the UNRWA funding.

"At this particular time and in light of the continuing aggression against the Palestinian people, we need the maximum support for this international organization – not stopping support and assistance to it," remarked Palestinian National Authority Civilian Affairs Minister Hussein al-Sheikh in a post on X.

"We call on the countries that announced the cessation of their support for UNRWA to immediately reverse their decision, which entails great political and humanitarian relief risks."

Even Hamas, whose violence led to the current conflict in Gaza, accused Israel of a "campaign of incitement" against UN agencies delivering vital supplies to Palestinians. The group, formally the Islamic Resistance Movement, posted on Telegram: "We ask the UN and the international organizations to not cave into the threats and blackmail [by Israel]."

Tel Aviv is unconvinced, however. The Israeli government has attacked the UNRWA for some time, accusing it of fueling anti-Israel incitement – something the agency denies.

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz said on Jan. 27 that the government would seek to stop the UNRWA from operating in Gaza when the war ends.

"We have been warning for years: UNRWA perpetuates the refugee issue, obstructs peace and serves as a civilian arm of Hamas in Gaza," he wrote on X. "We will work to garner bipartisan support in the U.S., the European Union and other nations globally for this policy aimed at halting UNRWA's activities in Gaza."

Head over to IsraelCollapse.com for similar stories.

Watch this video about children being taught antisemitism in schools run by the UNRWA.

This video is from the American Patriots God Country channel on Brighteon.com.

More related stories:

Israel has already killed 88 United Nations officials in Gaza.

9 UN workers killed as Gaza Strip suffers from unrelenting Israeli airstrikes.

UN official accuses Israel of plotting MASS EXPULSION of Gazans into Egypt.

UNRWA warns of growing humanitarian crisis in Gaza amid continued Israeli bombings.

NO SAFE PLACE: Israel attacks UNRWA school in Gaza refugee camp, leaving 6 dead and dozens injured.

Sources include:

MiddleEastEye.net 1


MiddleEastEye.net 2


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