UN chief declares UNRWA as the vital support system for Gaza’s humanitarian aid efforts.

UN chief declares UNRWA as the vital support system for Gaza’s humanitarian aid efforts.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has emphasized the crucial role of the UN Palestinian refugee agency (UNRWA) in providing humanitarian aid in Gaza, calling it “the backbone of all humanitarian response in Gaza.” He further urged all countries to ensure the continued support for UNRWA’s life-saving work. Funding for UNRWA, particularly from the United States, has been paused after allegations were made against some agency staff for involvement in the October 7 attack by Hamas.
During a meeting with the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, Guterres expressed his personal concerns regarding the allegations against UNRWA staff. He acknowledged that steps are being taken to address these concerns and highlighted his extreme worry about the inhumane conditions faced by the 2.2 million people in Gaza. These conditions include flooding, lack of clean water, the spread of preventable diseases, and a collapsed health system.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has also warned of a “massive catastrophe” unfolding in Gaza, stating that the population is on the verge of starvation and being pushed to the brink. UN officials have alerted that without restored funding, UNRWA will have to cease operations by the end of February. Despite the allegations, several UN heads, including those from WHO, WFP, UNICEF, and IOM, assert that no other entity has the capacity to deliver the much-needed assistance to the 2.2 million people in Gaza.
During a UN Security Council meeting on Gaza, UN aid chief Martin Griffiths stressed the fundamental role UNRWA plays in the humanitarian response in Gaza. He emphasized that the entire humanitarian response in the occupied Palestinian territory is dependent on adequate funding and operational support for UNRWA. Griffiths also expressed concern about the inadequate ability of the humanitarian community to reach those in need due to Israel’s inconsistent rejection of much-needed items.
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) recently ordered Israel to prevent its troops from committing genocide and take actions to improve the humanitarian situation in Gaza. South Africa’s Foreign Minister, Naledi Pandor, has called on all states to halt funding and facilitate Israel’s military actions in


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