Several countries to resume UNRWA funding

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NEW YORK — On Wednesday, Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide remarked that numerous countries, that had ceased their financial support for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), are now likely to reconsider their stance and may soon resume their contributions.اضافة اعلان
Several countries, including the US and Britain, suspended their funding to UNRWA following accusations from Israel that 12 out of the agency's 13,000 staff in Gaza were involved in the October 7 attack, Al-Mamlaka TV reported.

Despite this, Norway, a key donor to UNRWA, continued its financial assistance, transferring 275 million kroner ($26 million) in February, which represents its regular annual contribution. The Norwegian government also indicated the possibility of further financial support. Oslo is additionally exerting pressure on countries that temporarily halted their funding to reconsider and resume their contributions.

Barth Eide, in an interview with Reuters, expressed confidence that many of the countries that suspended their funding are now reconsidering their decisions. He noted their recognition that "they cannot penalize the entire Palestinian community."

After a meeting with Norwegian relief organizations to assess the humanitarian situation in Gaza, he emphasized the increasing recognition and consensus among many on this matter. However, he acknowledged the need for these countries to find an honorable resolution, suggesting that they hope to derive some closure from ongoing investigations to justify their resumption of funding.
While the United Nations conducts its internal investigation, former  Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna leads an independent inquiry.

UNRWA responded to Israeli accusations by dismissing the employees allegedly involved in the October 7 attacks, asserting that if the Israeli claims were true, they would represent a betrayal of UN values and the people UNRWA serves.
Late on Tuesday, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported that Canada intends to resume its funding for UNRWA after weeks of suspension due to Israeli allegations.

Unnamed government sources revealed that Canada plans to transfer 25 million Canadian dollars ($18.5 million) in April and announce additional funding.
When asked to comment on these reports, spokespeople for the Canadian Foreign Ministry and International Development Ministry declined.

Julie Tomeh, UNRWA's communications director, confirmed that none of the sixteen donor countries that had frozen their funding have resumed payments yet. She urged these countries to reconsider their decisions.

UNRWA's Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini cautioned on Monday against a "deliberate and coordinated campaign" aimed at ending its operations. Meanwhile, Israel accuses the organization of employing over 450 "military elements" from Hamas and other armed groups.

On Wednesday, government officials disclosed that Iraq pledged $25 million to UNRWA, according to Reuters, without specifying a date for the payment.

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