UN Chief urges congress: Reconsider suspension of UNRWA funding

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres
(File photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN — The Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, expressed his hope on Monday that the US Congress would reconsider its decision to suspend funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) for an entire year and ultimately cancel it.اضافة اعلان
During a press conference held at a girls' school in Amman's Wahdat district, Guterres responded to a question from "Al-Mamlaka" by stating that the United Nations also hopes similar measures will not be taken by other countries. He explained that the funding suspension affects the agency's services to more than 5 million Palestinian refugees in the region.

US President Joe Biden signed a federal government funding law until the end of September, which Congress approved just hours earlier, banning any new direct funding for UNRWA, Al-Mamlaka TV reported.

Guterres noted that once independent investigations and UNRWA reviews are completed, the United Nations will publish its reports on the involvement of UNRWA employees in the attacks that occurred on October 7.

In response to a question from "Al-Mamlaka," Guterres affirmed that the results of the investigation, review, and subsequent steps taken by the organization will enhance UNRWA's effectiveness and ensure its continued work.

He explained that UNRWA is currently operating under very difficult conditions due to the cessation of aid from several countries.
"There was an attempt to silence voices opposing the cessation of UNRWA funding, including mine," Guterres acknowledged, confirming the United Nations' full commitment to affirming UNRWA's role as a UN body committed to UN values and its Charter.

He emphasized that he is fully convinced that the investigation results, review, and steps to be taken will make UNRWA stronger, more effective, committed to UN values, and ensure the continuation of its funding, services, and work.

UNRWA is conducting an independent investigation into allegations against its employees of involvement in the "Al-Aqsa Storm" operation on Israeli-occupied territories.

In response to questions from journalists, he stated that international consensus is growing regarding the necessity to inform Israel of the need to cease fire and that an attack on Rafah would lead to a humanitarian catastrophe.

He added, "We see growing international consensus on informing Israel of the need to cease fire, as well as increasing consensus from the United States, the European Union, and, of course, the Islamic world, regarding informing Israel that a ground invasion of Rafah could result in a humanitarian disaster."

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