Japan resumes funding to Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA

02-04-2024 10:16 AM

Ammon News - Japan on Tuesday said it will lift its suspension of funding to the U.N. Palestinian refugee agency (UNRWA) as the relief body works to regain trust after an allegation that some of its staff were involved in the 'Operation Al-Aqsa Flood' on October 7.

Japan, the sixth-biggest donor to the agency, and 15 other countries paused about $450 million in funding following the allegation by Israel in January, throwing the agency's operations in the war-torn Gaza Strip into turmoil.

Countries including Australia and Canada have since restored funding to the UNRWA, the largest relief body operating in Gaza, which has been besieged by Israel since the attack.

Japan's Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa, who met UNRWA head Philippe Lazzarini in Tokyo last week, said the agency's role in addressing the Gaza crisis was "indispensable" even as it works to improve governance and manage risks.

"Japan will lift the moratorium on its financial contributions to UNRWA and provide assistance while ensuring and confirming the appropriateness of Japan's funds," Kamikawa told reporters, adding that about $35 million of originally planned funding was ready to be released.

A senior foreign ministry official later told a press briefing that Japan could not comment on the veracity of Israel's allegations due to an ongoing investigation by the U.N. Office of Internal Oversight Services.


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