‘Gaza’s Humanitarian Backbone’ – Norway Increases Funding to UNRWA

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Palestinian children in the UNRWA shelter in the Nuseirat refugee camp in Central Gaza. (Photo: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

The NOK 100 million (approximately $10 million) to UNRWA comes in addition to the NOK 275 million Norway contributed earlier this year.

Norway has pledged to increase its funding of the UN Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) saying the agency was “the backbone” of the humanitarian response in the besieged Gaza Strip.

“The war, accusations made by Israel, continuous attacks on the organisation and funds withheld by major donors, have put UNRWA in an extremely difficult financial situation,” said Anne Beathe Kristiansen Tvinnereim, the Minister of International Development.

The new funding was announced on Monday during UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini’s visit to Norway.

The NOK 100 million (approximately $10 million) to UNRWA comes in addition to the NOK 275 million Norway contributed earlier this year.

Following ICJ Ruling, Washington Suspends UNRWA Funding

Funding Suspended

UNRWA faced a crisis when Israel in January accused some of its employees of involvement in the October 7 resistance operation.

The US and more than a dozen other countries suspended funding to UNRWA following the allegations. Many have since resumed funding to the relief agency.

In April, the UN closed five cases of allegations that its relief workers were involved in the operation, amid a notable lack of evidence given by Israel in support of its claims.

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“UNRWA and other UN organizations’ ability to deliver much needed humanitarian aid, including health care and education, to people living amid war and conflict, is fundamental in a world order based on international law,” Foreign Minister Espen Barthe Eide said in a statement.

He said UNRWA represents the international community’s “commitment to Palestine refugees until a political solution is found. Therefore, Norway and other countries must guard and support the organization.”

Israeli Airstrikes Bomb UNRWA Building, Schools in Gaza 

Since Israel’s military assault on Gaza began in October last year, nearly 200 UNRWA staff members have been killed.

The organization’s staff, schools and hospitals are under daily attacks, the statement said, with UNRWA’s headquarters in East Jerusalem having “been attacked multiple times.”

“Furthermore, administrative impediments are placed on the organization, making it increasingly difficult for UNRWA to operate in Palestine,” it added.

‘Principled Donorship’

Lazzarini thanked Norway for its “steadfast political and financial support for UNRWA and for Palestine refugees.”

“An example of good and principled donorship – one that others can follow, all the more crucial amid the humanitarian tragedy in Gaza,” he said on X.

Earlier this month, UNRWA called for all violations against the UN, including attacks on its buildings in the Gaza Strip, to be investigated.

Juliette Touma, UNRWA’s communications director, said “We call for investigations into all violations against the United Nations including attacks on our buildings.”

Rising Death Toll

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 37,372 Palestinians have been killed, and 85,452 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

Moreover, at least 11,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip.

Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

The Israeli war has resulted in an acute famine, mostly in northern Gaza, resulting in the death of many Palestinians, mostly children.

Gaza Under Fire – Israeli Genocide Continues with Deadly Airstrikes

The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all over the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba.

Israel says that 1,200 soldiers and civilians were killed during the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation on October 7. Israeli media published reports suggesting that many Israelis were killed on that day by ‘friendly fire’.

(The Palestine Chronicle)



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