– / AFP
Israel-Hamas war: UNRWA sees its funding disappear, what consequences can be expected in Gaza? (Photo of Palestinian refugees and a UNRWA member moving bags of food in Rafah on January 28)
International – About twenty international NGOs reported “ rebelled » UN for Palestinian refugees On Tuesday 30 January, 12 countries decided to suspend funding to the agency (UNRWA). This comes after Israel alleged that 12 of UNRWA's 30,000 staff may have been involved in an October 7 attack by Hamas on Israeli soil.
Beyond the specific questions of these staff members' participation in the bloody Hamas attacks, this UN The reality is that a sudden end to funding for the agency will not be without consequences for Palestinian refugees, whether in Gaza, Lebanon or Jordan. Syria and the West Bank. In total, 5.9 million Palestinians are registered with the agency in these territories.
However, the effects of these funding suspensions, however temporary, will be more dramatic in Gaza. Because she is not just experiencing a situation “Humanitarian Disaster”But in addition Palestinian refugees represent 80% of the 2.4 million population, according to the data.Unrava.
Help since 1949
As a reminder, UNRWA was created by the UN General Assembly in December 1949, after the first conflict in May 1948 following the creation of Israel. As indicated TV5 WorldThe Agency is mandated to provide humanitarian assistance and protection to Palestinian refugees registered in the Agency's area of operations, ” While waiting for a just and lasting solution to their situation. »
Registered persons can benefit from services including education, health care, social services, camp infrastructure, microfinance and emergency assistance in times of armed conflict.
A total of about sixty refugee camps, including 19 in the West Bank and Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967, have been established by the UN. are managed by the agency. More than 540,000 children attend UNRWA schools.
there” Basic to survival ” Refugees
The cessation or curtailment of UNRWA activities threatens the entire system of assistance to the Palestinian people. It has been in recent weeks, “In the Gaza Strip, the humanitarian crisis has reached catastrophic levels », caution in a contacted Médecins Sans Frontières emphasizes the serious difficulties that have accumulated since October and Israel's war against Hamas. ” Humanitarian organizations are already struggling to meet even a fraction of people's urgent needs. Any reduction in aid will lead to more death and suffering », condemning the system.
” Unrwa provides refugees with basic life services within arm's reach. This is not additional humanitarian aid, it is fundamental to the survival of this population », warning HuffPost Claire Magone, Director General of Médecin Sans Frontières.
While in Gaza A field full of ruins », UNRWA staff, made up of refugees, are responsible for bringing food and coordinating shelters, but also extracting drinking water from wells. ” If funding were to stop tomorrow, it would be completely irresponsible “, she insists.
Decline The whole structure of Palestinian society”
Same story on the pageAmnesty International Who's Afraid” Catastrophe Ft » It will extend to more than two million refugees from the occupied Gaza Strip. “For Whom the People” This system is the only lifeline “.
There will be consequences Absolutely remarkable », assesses reporter Stephen Amar France 24 In Jerusalem, who insists that ” An essential component of the Palestinian cause and life in the Occupied Territories. » « If UNRWA collapses, the entire fabric of Palestinian society collapses. “, he assures.
Controversy related to the allegations prompted the European Commission to audit UNRWA's operations. “Distracts attention from nearly 27,000 deaths, 70% of them women and children” In Gaza, World Health Organization (WHO) spokesman Christian Lindmeier lamented. “It distracts from the fact that an entire population is denied access to clean water, food, and shelter.”And “Serial bombardment” By the Israeli army, he insisted.
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