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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Saudi Arabia Boosts UNRWA Aid Amid Gaza Crisis

Amid the Israel-Hamas conflict and accusations against UNRWA staff, Saudi Arabia pledges $40 million to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, highlighting the funding gap and urging global support.

Saudi Arabia’s humanitarian aid agency, KSrelief, pledged a significant boost to its funding for the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) with a $40 million donation.

The agreement, facilitated through a video call between Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah of KSrelief and UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini, aims to address the urgent humanitarian needs in the Gaza Strip, which has been ravaged by the Israel-Hamas conflict.

Established in 1949, UNRWA has been a vital source of education, social services, and emergency relief for Palestinian refugees. However, the agency faces a severe funding crisis following accusations by Israel against some of its staff in Gaza.

Despite the lack of evidence provided by Israel, several donor countries, including the United States and Britain, have paused their support to UNRWA. This funding shortfall has put immense pressure on the agency to sustain its critical operations in Gaza.

The humanitarian situation in Gaza has reached a critical juncture, with a UN-backed report warning of an imminent famine in northern Gaza. With nearly 2 million people relying on UNRWA for shelter, food, and healthcare, the agency’s ability to meet the growing needs is severely constrained.

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While some countries, including Canada, Australia, Sweden, and Gulf nations like Saudi Arabia, have stepped up their contributions, the absence of key donors like the United States poses a significant challenge in bridging the funding gap. As global pressure mounts on Israel to allow more humanitarian aid into Gaza, the urgency to address the escalating crisis has never been greater.