UPDATED: List of Countries Suspending and Reinstating UNRWA Funding

UPDATED May 27, 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 toward terrorist activities.

 

*After the first wave of funding suspensions, many counties have decided to reinstate funding even before the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) and the “independent” review concluded their investigations. This page is updated to include the current status of suspensions and the date the decision was made.  The review group released its report on April 22nd. 

 

Here is an updated list of all countries that have decided to suspend their UNRWA funding and the current status of those suspensions:

 

  • 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)

*Funding remains frozen until at least March 25, 2025: “The United States may not make any voluntary or assessed contributions to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (referred to in this Act as “UNRWA”) or to the regular budget of the United Nations for the support of UNRWA.” (US Congress)

 

  • 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)

*Funding was reinstated on April 24, 2024: “We welcome the fact that the report of the United Nations Independent Review Group, led by former French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna, is now available. UNRWA has said it will implement the report’s recommendations quickly and fully. Against this background and in conjunction with these reforms, the Federal Government will soon continue its cooperation with UNRWA in Gaza, as has already been done by Australia, Canada, Sweden and Japan, among others. Germany will coordinate closely with its closest international partners to disburse further funds.” (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 carry out an audit of the Agency to be conducted by EU-appointed independent external experts.” (European Commission)

*Funding was reinstated on March 1, 2024: “Today, the Commission has decided to allocate an additional EUR 68 million to support the Palestinian population … The Commission will proceed to pay 50 million of the UNWRA envelope next week.” (European Commission)

 

*Funding was reinstated on March 9, 2024: “The Government decided to issue a disbursement of SEK 200 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). The decision was taken in light of the acute humanitarian situation in Gaza and UNRWA’s new undertakings within the framework of a conditional statement assurance to Sweden.” (Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

 

  • 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)

*Funding was reinstated on April 2, 2024: “Japan will lift the moratorium on its financial contributions to UNRWA and provide assistance while ensuring and confirming the appropriateness of Japan’s funds.” (Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa)

 

  • 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)

*Funding was reinstated on March 28, 2024: “We will make our contributions while ensuring that the conditions are met for UNRWA to fulfill its missions in a spirit devoid of incitement to hatred and violence.” (Foreign Ministry spokesman Christophe Lemoine, Reuters

 

  • 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)

*Funding was partially reinstated on May 8, 2024: “The Federal Council decided to make a contribution of CHF 10 million to the humanitarian aid appeal of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). The CHF 10 million contribution is exclusively earmarked for Gaza and will be used to provide the urgent assistance specified in the UNRWA Flash Appeal for the occupied Palestinian territory covering the period April–December 2024. In its overall assessment, the Federal Council drew on the analysis of the Colonna report and coordination with other donors.” (The Federal Council)

 

*Funding was reinstated on March 8, 2024: “Today I am announcing that Canada’s funding for UNWRA will resume. The decision is in recognition of the serious and significant processes that the United Nations has undertaken to address the issues in UNRWA” (Ahmed Hussen, Minister of International Development of Canada)

 

*Funding remains frozen: “Before it decides to resume funding, the Government says it will consider two UN inquiry assessments and require UNRWA to make “detailed undertakings” on “personnel, policy and precedents.”  (House of Commons Library)

 

*Funding reinstated: “All EU donors have now resumed their support to the Agency, still in critical financial situation.” (Josep Borrell)

 

*Funding was reinstated on March 15, 2024: “Australia will lift its temporary pause on funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), following steps to strengthen the integrity of UNRWA operations.” (Australian Ministry for Foreign Affairs)

 

*Funding reinstated: “All EU donors have now resumed their support to the Agency, still in critical financial situation.” (Josep Borrell)

 

  • 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)

*Funding was reinstated on May 18, 2024: “After a thorough analysis of the action plan presented, we will resume our suspended payments to UNRWA. A total of € 3,4 m is budgeted for 2024.” (Austrian Foreign Ministry)

 

  • 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)

*Funding was reinstated on March 22, 2024: “UNRWA’s assurance to improve risk management by preventing and closely overseeing misconduct gives us at this point the necessary guarantees that risks will be managed and we can continue our support. Therefore, the payment of this year’s funding to the UNRWA will proceed” (Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Ville Tavio)

 

  • 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)

*Funding remains frozen: “Our planned contribution is due by mid-year and we will be looking for assurances as to the robustness and integrity of the investigation process in advance of that payment.” (UN Permanent Representative,  Carolyn Schwalger)

 

  • Iceland, $558.7 K:

    “The Icelandic Foreign Minister, Bjarni Benediktsson, called for a thorough investigation and said contributions would be frozen until consultations, with the other Nordic countries.” (United Nations Regional Information Center)

*Funding was reinstated on April 1, 2024:  “Iceland’s core contribution to the United Nations Palestine Refugee Agency (UNRWA) will be made by 1 April…The UN leadership has responded swiftly and in a credible manner to these allegations. The UN Secretary-General has launched an independent external review… as well as an internal investigation led by the UN Office of Internal Oversight Services. UNRWA has, in parallel, launched an internal working group to enhance the Agency’s neutrality, accountability, and internal oversight procedures…” (Minister for Foreign Affairs, Bjarni Benediktsson)

 

*Funding reinstated: “All EU donors have now resumed their support to the Agency, still in critical financial situation.” (Josep Borrell)

 

*Funding was reinstated on May 8, 2024: “After an international investigation, Estonia will support four UN organizations with a total of €120,000, aimed at alleviating the humanitarian situation in Gaza,” (Minister of Foreign Affairs Margus Tsahkna)

 

 

 

 

UN Watch