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Italy Others Suspends Support For UNRWA See Why



Italy Others Suspends Support For UNRWA See Why

iexclusivenews – In a shocking move, Italy and its allies have announced that they are suspending their support for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), the main UN agency that provides humanitarian aid and development assistance to millions of Palestinians.

What is UNRWA and why is it important?

UNRWA was established in 1949, following the Arab-Israeli war that resulted in the displacement of over 700,000 Palestinians from their homes. UNRWA’s mandate is to provide relief, education, health, and social services to the Palestinian refugees and their descendants, who now number more than 5.7 million across the Middle East.

UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions from UN member states, with the United States being the largest donor until 2018, when it withdrew its funding under the Trump administration. UNRWA also receives some funding from the European Union, individual countries, and other sources.

UNRWA plays a vital role in supporting the basic needs and human rights of the Palestinian refugees, many of whom live in poverty, insecurity, and marginalization.

Meanwhile, UNRWA also contributes to the stability and peace in the region, by providing education and opportunities for the young generation, and by preventing the radicalization and violence that could result from despair and frustration.


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Why did Italy and its allies suspend their support for UNRWA?

The decision to suspend the support for UNRWA was announced by Italy’s Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani on October 10, 2023, following the deadly attacks in Israel by Hamas, a Palestinian militant group that controls the Gaza Strip, one of the areas where UNRWA operates.

Tajani said that Italy was committed to humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian population, while protecting the security of Israel, which is a strategic partner and ally of Italy.

He also said that Italy was concerned about the allegations of corruption, mismanagement, and politicization within UNRWA, and that it would resume its funding only after a thorough reform and accountability process.

Italy’s decision was followed by similar announcements from the United States, Canada, and Australia, who also expressed their solidarity with Israel and their dissatisfaction with UNRWA. Together, these four countries accounted for more than 40% of UNRWA’s budget in 2022.

What are the implications and consequences of this decision?

The suspension of support for UNRWA by Italy and its allies has triggered a severe financial crisis for the agency, which was already struggling to cope with the increased needs and challenges of the Palestinian refugees amid the ongoing conflict, and the political deadlock.

UNRWA’s Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini warned that the agency would run out of cash by the end of October, and that it would have to cut or suspend its essential services, such as food, health, education, and sanitation, affecting the lives and dignity of millions of people.

Lazzarini also appealed to the international community to step up its support for UNRWA, and to engage in a constructive dialogue with the agency and its donors to address the concerns and expectations, and to ensure the continuity and quality of its operations.

The suspension of support for UNRWA by Italy and its allies has also sparked outrage and condemnation from the Palestinian leadership, the Arab League, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and other countries and organizations that support the Palestinian cause.

They accused the four countries of violating their moral and legal obligations, and of undermining the prospects of a peaceful and just solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict .

The decision has also raised fears of a humanitarian catastrophe, a security breakdown, and a political escalation in the region, as the Palestinian refugees face more hardship, despair, and anger, and as the extremists and spoilers exploit the situation to incite violence and hatred .

What is the way forward?

The suspension of support for UNRWA by Italy and its allies is a serious blow to the agency and to the Palestinian refugees, who depend on its services for their survival and dignity.

It is also a risky move that could have negative repercussions for the stability and peace in the region, and for the chances of a lasting and fair resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The way forward is to restore the trust and cooperation between UNRWA and its donors, and to ensure that the agency has the adequate and predictable funding that it needs to fulfill its mandate and mission.

This requires a transparent and constructive dialogue, a comprehensive and credible reform and accountability process, and a recognition and appreciation of the value and impact of UNRWA’s work .

However, it is also important to address the root causes of the plight of the Palestinian refugees, and to work towards a political solution that respects their rights, aspirations, and identity, in accordance with the international law and the relevant UN resolutions.

This is the only way to achieve a lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East, and to secure the interests and security of all parties involved .

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