UNRWA Funding Pause Amid Gaza Conflict:
The US and eight other Western countries, which are major contributors to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA’s) 2022 budget, have decided to pause funding for the agency.
- UNRWA was established in 1949 to provide aid to Palestinians who were displaced during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war.
- It operates in Gaza, Israeli-occupied West Bank, Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan, offering education, health, relief, social services, microfinance, and emergency assistance programs.
- The agency currently serves around 5.9 million Palestinian refugees and plays a vital role in providing essential services to Palestinians in Gaza.
- The halt of funding is the result of Israel accusing UNRWA staff of involvement in an attack on Israel on 7th October 2023 and has alleged that Hamas uses UNRWA facilities for military purposes and teaches anti-Israel sentiment in its schools.