‘Irresponsible and Unacceptable’ – US Congress Members Demand Full Funding of UNRWA

US Representative Pramila Jayapal said the prohibition of UNRWA funding is irresponsible and unacceptable. (Image: Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

US Representative Pramila Jayapal said the prohibition of UNRWA funding is irresponsible and unacceptable and will lead to more devastation and loss of life in Gaza. 

Fifty members of the US Congress have called for the full restoration of US funding for the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which was revoked after Israel alleged several of its employees had taken part in the October 7 operation. 

“Prohibiting United States funding for this organization, which has been on the frontlines of conflict in Gaza, is especially irresponsible and unacceptable given our country’s historic role as the largest contributor to UNRWA,” said Rep Pramila Jayapal, one of the congress members leading the call.

Defunding UNRWA: The Last Phase of Israeli Genocide

“There is no question in my mind that revoking funding for UNRWA will lead to more devastation and loss of life in Gaza.”

In a letter dated February 28, and signed by amongst others, Rashida Tlaib and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the congress members said proposals by Congress “to prohibit or reduce UNRWA funding will significantly erode the United States’ ability to provide life-saving assistance and minimal social structure to Gaza’s 2.2 million people.”

Currently, UNRWA only has sufficient funding through February, the letter stated, adding “Congress must fully appropriate funding to UNRWA.”

It warned that international humanitarian NGOs and the major United Nations humanitarian organizations have made it clear in recent weeks, that “the continuation of UNRWA operations is imperative to addressing the humanitarian crisis.”

‘Clock is Ticking towards Looming Famine’ in Gaza – UNRWA Reacts to US, Western Sanctions

“Their statements are especially relevant considering several of these UN humanitarian organizations would be required to drastically scale up their efforts at an impossible pace to fill the humanitarian void that would be created should the U.S. halt funding for UNRWA.”

Funding is Critical

The letter concluded that “As the largest funder of UNRWA, it is critical that the U.S. continue to appropriate funds to support its important work.”

“Denying millions of innocent civilians shelter, food, water, sanitary conditions and healthcare is simply cruel,” said Congressman André Carson, who also led the call.

‘We Will Shut down by End of February’ – UNRWA Warns against Suspension of Funding

“The campaign to discredit UNRWA’s track record because of unsubstantiated allegations, against a small fraction of UNRWA’s employees, attempts to distract from the reality of a devastating, urgent humanitarian crisis in Gaza.” 

Israel has yet to provide evidence for its claims more than a month after first making them.

Following the allegations, UN Secretary-General António Guterres appointed an independent panel earlier this month to conduct an assessment of UNRWA.

The Secretary-General noted that Israel’s accusations come at a time when UNRWA, the largest UN organization in the region, “is working under extremely challenging conditions to deliver life-saving assistance to the 2 million people in the Gaza Strip who depend on it for their survival amidst one of the largest and most complex humanitarian crises in the world.” 

‘We Cannot Deliver Aid Under Fire’ – Israel Bombs UNRWA Relief Truck

Knesset Bill on UNRWA

Some 21 global aid organizations have slammed the decision as “reckless” by certain countries to suspend funding for UNRWA.

“We are shocked by the reckless decision to cut a lifeline for an entire population by some of the very countries that had called for aid in Gaza to be stepped up and for humanitarians to be protected while doing their job,” the organizations said in a statement. 

They warned that, “The population faces starvation, looming famine and an outbreak of disease under Israel’s continued indiscriminate bombardment and deliberate deprivation of aid in Gaza.”

Suspension of UNRWA Aid is Reckless – Aid Agencies

Israel’s Parliament, the Knesset,  meanwhile has passed a preliminary reading of a bill that prohibitsUNRWA from operating in Israel and the occupied West Bank. The bill has to pass three more readings before becoming law.

Close to 30,000 Killed

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 30,035 Palestinians have been killed, and 70,457 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7. 

Moreover, at least 7,000 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. 

GAZA LIVE BLOG: Israel Shells Crowd Waiting for Aid | Israeli Soldiers Expelled | Weight of Hunger – Day 146

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)

(The Palestine Chronicle is a registered 501(c)3 organization, thus, all donations are tax deductible.)
Our Vision For Liberation: Engaged Palestinian Leaders & Intellectuals Speak Out

1 Comment

  1. I think any Israeli Palestinian or friend who reads this should immediately ask their MK to update them on the health of the “40 beheaded babies”, and should ask said MKI to add a clause to the UNRWA bill to update Israel on the health of said “40 beheaded babies”.

Comments are closed.