April 22, 2024

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UNRWA has reached a “breaking point”, its chief warned

UNRWA has reached a “breaking point”, its chief warned

UN for Palestinian refugees Philippe Lazzarini called for the agency's survival in a letter of “political support” to the UN General Assembly.



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People ride bicycles in front of the UNRWA headquarters in Gaza, destroyed by Israeli strikes on February 21, 2024.

“It is with deep regret that we must inform you today that the agency has reached a breaking point” UNRWA President wrote in a letter to the President of the UN General Assembly. In a speech released on Thursday, February 22 X, the UN for Palestinian refugees Frenchman Philippe Lazzarini, the head of the agency, condemned. “Israel has repeatedly called for the removal and freeze of donor funding in the face of unprecedented humanitarian needs in Gaza.”

According to an AFP tally, the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas blamed the UN for the October 7 attack that killed 1,160 people. Twelve members of the agency were indicted by Israel.

But also “So far, no evidence has been shared by Israel with UNRWA”16 countries have suspended their funding, totaling $450 million, said Philippe Lazzarini, who warned of the company's operations across the region. “There will be serious reconciliation from March.” Top UN officials say UNRWA is the backbone of humanitarian aid in the Gaza Strip.

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Regain the trust of donors

Philippe Lazzarini demands this “Political Support” To enable UNRWA's survival, reform of the UN General Assembly, as well as its funding system, is based mainly on voluntary contributions.

The internal investigation was launched as Secretary-General Antonio Guterres entrusted an independent panel led by former French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna with the task of evaluating UNRWA and its assessment. “Neutrality”. The purpose of this work is to “soft”, Allowing donors “Regain the Faith”Catherine Colonna made the announcement Thursday at a press conference.

“My goal is to provide rigorous, evidence-based reporting that will help UNRWA fulfill its mandate.”She insisted, she planned “Make recommendations” A final report is expected by April 20.