United Nations, refugees, Palestine, Philippe Lazzarini

UNRWA calls for support for its increasingly necessary operations in Gaza

United Nations, February 23.- The commissioner general of the UN Agency for Palestinian Refugees (Unrwa), Philippe Lazzarini, asked the General Assembly for the political support necessary to sustain the organization.

UNRWA has reached a breaking point due to Israeli calls for its abolition and the subsequent freezing of funds when it is most needed, its head said in a letter sent to the forum's president, Dennis Francis.

The representative warned that the Agency's ability to fulfill its mandate is now seriously threatened.

The lack of funds to maintain the operations of the main humanitarian actor on the ground would have serious consequences for the situation in the enclave, considered catastrophic by the humanitarian workers themselves.

After just over four months, more children, more journalists, more medical staff and more UN staff were reported killed in Gaza than anywhere else in the world during a conflict, the UNRWA head said.

Lazzarini asked the forum for political support to prevent UNRWA from being swept away at once, a fundamental decision in the face of the paralysis of the Security Council to demand a ceasefire.

The High Commissioner urged the Assembly to provide the necessary political support to sustain the Agency or to create a path for an immediate transition towards a long-awaited political solution that can bring peace to Palestinians and Israelis.

At the same time, he rejected the concerted effort by some Israeli officials to misleadingly confuse UNRWA with Hamas, disrupt its actions, and call for its dismantling.

These operations create risks to the safety of personnel, obstruct their mandate to serve Palestinian civilians, and make it impossible for them to operate without the consent of the occupying power.

I fear that we are on the verge of a monumental disaster with serious implications for regional peace, security and human rights, the Italian diplomat warned.

UNRWA's humanitarian work has been threatened since the end of January, when Israeli authorities released evidence that allegedly links 12 of its members to the Hamas group.

Although the evidence was shared with the United States Government and various media outlets, to date the UN has not received the dossier prepared by Tel Aviv.

As a consequence, 16 donor countries withdrew their funds – nearly 450 million dollars – which, according to the high commissioner himself, could seriously compromise his work starting in March. (PL) (Photo: Taken from the Internet)

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