UPDATED: List of Countries Suspending UNRWA Funding

UPDATED January 30, 2024 — Since the revelations that at least 12 UNRWA staffers were involved in Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel, around 10% of UNRWA’s Gaza employees have links to the Hamas or Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist organizations, and 50% have close relatives who belong to those groups, many countries have decided to suspend aid to the agency.

UNRWA’s raison d’etre is to perpetuate the conflict by maintaining the refugee status of Palestinians and by giving them false hope that they will one day return to homes in sovereign Israeli territory. This is why, among all the refugees in the world, only the Palestinians have a dedicated UN agency for their so-called refugees. It is also why UNRWA, unlike the UN High Commissioner for Refugees,  UNHCR, keeps the Palestinians as perpetual refugees from one generation to the next, even after they become citizens of other countries. In light of UNRWA’s role in perpetuating the conflict and its proven close ties with the jihadi terrorist groups in Gaza, cutting aid to UNRWA and diverting it to other organizations is crucial.

UNRWA’s biggest donors in 2023 were EU countries and the U.S., accounting for roughly $865M, or about 75% of the agency’s $1.16B budget. Not only have these Western democracies been the main supporters of an agency whose purpose is to foment conflict, but now there are questions about whether their funding directly supported jihadi terrorism against Israel. At least some of this Western aid was likely used to pay salaries to the UNRWA terrorists and otherwise funneled towards terrorist activities.

Here is an updated list of all countries that have decided to suspend their UNRWA funding:

  • United States, $343.9 M:  “The United States … has temporarily paused additional funding for UNRWA while we review these allegations and the steps the United Nations is taking to address them.” (U.S. Department of State)
  • Germany, $202.1 M: “Until the end of the investigation, Germany, in coordination with other donor countries, will temporarily not approve any new funds for UNRWA .” (German Foreign Office)
  • European Union, $114.1 M: “Currently, no additional funding to UNRWA is foreseen until the end of February. … The European Commission expects UNRWA to agree to carrying out an audit of the Agency to be conducted by EU appointed independent external experts.” (European Commission)
  • Sweden, $61 M: “Aid funds must go to the right organizations and not come close to terrorism.” (Johan Forssel, Swedish Minister for International Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade)
  • Japan, $30.2 M: “Japan is extremely concerned about the alleged involvement of UNRWA staff members in the terror attack on Israel on October 7 last year. In response, Japan has decided to suspend additional funding to UNRWA for the time being while UNRWA conducts an investigation into the matter and considers measures to address the allegations.” (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan)
  • France, $28.9 M: “France has not planned any further payments in the first quarter of 2024, and will decide when the time comes how to act in conjunction with the United Nations and the main donors.” (French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs)
  • Switzerland, $25.5 M: “The Swiss foreign ministry indicated that the contributions to UNRWA planned for this year, which have not yet been paid, would only be paid once it had more information on these serious allegations.” (SwissInfo.ch)
  • Canada, $23.7 M: “I am deeply troubled by the allegations relating to some UNRWA employees. I have instructed Global Affairs Canada to pause all additional funding to UNRWA pending the outcome of the investigation.” (Ahmed Hussen, Minister of International Development of Canada)
  • United Kingdom, $21.2 M: “The UK is temporarily pausing any future funding of UNRWA whilst we review these concerning allegations.” (United Kingdom Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office)
  • The Netherlands, $21.2 M: “The Netherlands will closely follow and weigh the outcome of the investigation when considering future Dutch financial contributions to UNRWA.” (Dutch Minister for Trade and Development Geoffrey Van Leeuwen)
  • Australia, $13.8 M: “Australia welcomes UNRWA’s swift response and will engage closely on investigations. We are speaking with partners and will temporarily pause disbursement of recent funding.” (Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Senator Penny Wong)
  • Italy, $18 M: “The Italian government has suspended funding after Hamas’ heinous attack on Israel on October 7th. Allied countries have recently made the same decision.” (Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Italy)
  • Austria, $8.1 M: “Until these allegations are fully clarified, and there is clarity about the resulting consequences, Austria, in coordination with international partners, will temporarily suspend all further payments to UNRWA.” (Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs)
  • Finland, $7.8 M: “Finland’s payments to UNRWA will be suspended due to the allegations. We must make sure that not a single euro of Finland’s money goes to Hamas or other terrorists. The suspicion that employees of an organisation receiving humanitarian assistance are involved in a terrorist attack is the reason for suspending the payments. The case must be investigated thoroughly.” (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland)
  • New Zealand, $560.8 K: “The allegations are incredibly serious, it’s important they are properly understood and investigated, we won’t be making any further contributions until the Foreign Minister says it’s good to do so.” (New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon, RNZ)
  • Iceland, $558.7 K: “The Icelandic Foreign Minister, Bjarni Benediktsson, called for a thorough investigations and said contributions would be frozen until consultations, with the other Nordic countries.” (United Nations Regional Information Center)
  • Romania, $210.7 K: “No new [Romanian] voluntary contribution to UNRWA until the investigation is finalised.” (Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
  • Estonia, $90 K: “Concerning the recent very serious allegations against UNRWA, Estonia will not continue with the funding of the organisation.” (Margus Tsahkna, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Estonia)

 

 

 

UN Watch

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