Germany signals it will resume funding UN agency for Palestinians

    Germany said on Wednesday it plans to resume cooperation with the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), signalling a resumption of funding that was frozen after Israel accused 12 UNRWA staff of participating in the Hamas-led Oct. 7 attack.

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    The allegations prompted 16 donor states, including the biggest, the United States, to freeze some $450 million of funds, a blow to UNRWA’s operations as it grapples with the humanitarian crisis unleashed by Israel’s assault on Gaza.

    The move by Germany, UNRWA’s second biggest donor, followed the publication on Monday of a review led by the former French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna into UNRWA’s procedures for ensuring adherence to humanitarian principles of neutrality.

    In a statement, the German foreign and development ministries urged UNRWA to swiftly implement the report’s recommendations, including strengthening its internal audit function and improving external oversight of project management.

    “In support of these reforms, the German government will soon continue its cooperation with UNRWA in Gaza, as Australia, Canada, Sweden and Japan, among others, have already done,” the statement said.

    “Germany will coordinate closely with its closest international partners on the disbursement of further funds. UNRWA’s short-term financing needs in Gaza are currently covered by existing funds,” it added.


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