People walk past the damaged Gaza City headquarters of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA)
International News

Finland to resume funding to UNRWA

Helsinki:  Finland’s minister of international trade and development announced on Friday that the country

will once again pay the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).

Several nations, including as the US and the UK, stopped funding UNRWA following allegations

from Israel that twelve of the organization’s 13,000 employees in Gaza were involved in the Hamas attack

that occurred in Israel on October 7.

Foreign Trade and Development Minister Ville Tavio stated, “UNRWA strengthening its risk management,

that is, preventing and initiating close monitoring for misconduct, provides sufficient guarantees for us at this point to continue our support.”

He announced at a news conference that risk management will receive a portion of the Finnish funding.

While numerous Gulf nations, especially Saudi Arabia, have increased assistance, other nations, including Canada, Australia, and Sweden, have also resumed funding for UNRWA.

At a news conference in Helsinki, Foreign Trade and Development Minister Ville Tavio stated,

“UNRWA improving its risk management that is, preventing and initiating close monitoring for misconduct,

provides sufficient guarantees for us at this point in time to continue our support.”

The European Commission declared earlier this month that it will release €50 million (about $54.7 million) in funds for UNRWA,

which prompted the Finish decision.

Sweden and Canada restarted funding shortly after the committee made its announcement, citing the dire humanitarian conditions in Gaza.

“This is precisely the wrong time to stop funding for UNRWA,” stated Norwegian Minister

of Foreign Affairs Espen Barth Eide, pleading with the international community to support the organization.

“We run a serious risk of exacerbating the dire humanitarian crisis in Gaza if these decisions are not reversed,”

he stated in a Foreign Ministry statement.

More than 70 years ago, the UN General Assembly created UNRWA to aid Palestinians who had been forcibly removed from their land.

Millions of Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip, West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria,

and other regions with sizable populations of registered Palestinians are helped greatly by the organization.

According to the sources, UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini charged

that Tel Aviv has a “long-term political goal” of “destroying” the UN relief organization and

the notion that Palestinians are refugees with the right to return home eventually.

Lazzarini stated in the interview that was released last month that “we are dealing with an expanded,

concentrated Israeli campaign, which is aimed at destroying UNRWA.”

The Gaza Health Ministry reports that tens of thousands of Palestinians are injured, missing,

or unaccounted for, and that over 32,000 Palestinians have died—mostly women and children.

Early this month, the UN alerted the Security Council to the “imminent famine in the Gaza Strip,”

calling for swift action to avert a humanitarian catastrophe in an area where numerous council members have expressed

concerns about Israel using “hunger as a weapon of war.”

According to the UN, if current trends continue, food security experts warn of a

“complete agricultural collapse in northern Gaza by May.”

Rajasingham stated, “Unfortunately, even with the dire situation we currently face, there is every chance for further deterioration.”


UNRWA: War in Israel and Gaza
UNRWA: War in Israel and Gaza

Israeli claims:

It happened after Israel made shocking accusations against the organization,

saying that multiple employees took part in the strikes on October 7.

Following the claims, the UN initiated an inquiry and dismissed a number of personnel.

UNRWA allegations:

Earlier this month, UNRWA accused Israel of detaining and torturing some of its staffers, coercing them into making false confessions about the agency’s ties to Hamas.

Independent review:

An independent review group found the UN agency “has in place a significant number of mechanisms and procedures to ensure compliance with the Humanitarian Principle of neutrality.” The review group’s final report will be published on April 20 and will be made public.


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