The Cabinet once again promises UNRWA funds for Gaza

Palestinians walk in front of an UNRWA school in Gaza in November 2023

Noos News

The government allocated three million euros to UNRWA, the United Nations organization to assist Palestinian refugees. These funds are part of a broader humanitarian aid package allocated to Gaza. This is what outgoing Minister Schreinmacher (Development Cooperation) wrote to the House of Representatives.

For the first time, the government promised to provide funds to the organization, which was discredited at the beginning of this year. In order for UNRWA to be eligible for this payment, it must meet a number of conditions, according to the letter addressed to Parliament.

The Netherlands suspended its contribution to the aid organization after Israel reported that twelve UNRWA employees were involved in the attack carried out by Hamas on October 7 last year. Other countries did the same.

The United Nations then launched an independent investigation into the matter, led by former French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna. It concluded in April that the Israeli accusations were not supported by evidence.

More neutral

The researchers came up with fifty recommendations for the organization, especially regarding the impartiality of employees. Teaching materials used in UNRWA schools must also be more neutral, because they are said to contain anti-Semitic texts.

The amount of three million euros will not be transferred unless all these recommendations are followed. Schreinmacher spoke with UNRWA Commissioner-General Lazzarini at the end of last month. He informed her that he was working as quickly as possible to implement the recommendations. The Netherlands will continue to monitor this matter “closely,” the minister wrote.

Lazzarini also said in that conversation that his organization only has money until mid-June. Recently, calls have been issued from various quarters to resume support. Part of the House of Representatives is also pushing for an appeal, especially since UNRWA is one of the few organizations still active in Gaza.

The Netherlands has never turned off the money tap for UNRWA; The decision to suspend aid was taken after millions promised for 2024 had already been transferred.

Ten million more

In addition to the three million euros allocated to UNRWA, the government is providing another ten million euros for humanitarian support to Gaza. These funds are divided between the World Health Organization for medical aid, the International Labor Organization for economic support and the Red Cross for trauma projects.

“The Netherlands is committed to diversifying aid, in order to be less dependent on one organization in the future and thus strengthen the broader aid system,” the minister wrote to the House of Representatives.

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