Security Council meets to address UNRWA at Jordan's request

17-04-2024 10:14 AM

Ammon News - The United Nations Security Council is scheduled to convene an open session on Wednesday afternoon, responding to Jordan's request to address the mounting challenges confronting the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).

Commissioner-General of UNRWA Philippe Lazzarini will deliver a briefing to Council members, joined by foreign ministers from various UN member states.

Lazzarini's briefing will focus on the deteriorating humanitarian conditions in the Gaza Strip, emphasizing UNRWA's vital role in delivering food assistance, healthcare, and other essential services amidst the profound impacts of the conflict on the agency's operations.

Recent reports from UNRWA underscore the severity of the situation, revealing that 178 agency personnel lost their lives during the Gaza war, while 163 UNRWA facilities sustained damage, leaving only nine out of 24 healthcare centers operational. Among the foremost challenges confronting UNRWA is the critical issue of funding, exacerbated by the suspension of financial support from 16 countries, including three Security Council members: the United States, Japan, and the United Kingdom.

Israeli media sources have indicated that the Israeli military intends to dismantle UNRWA's presence in Gaza, proposing an alternative framework. These actions align with prior statements from Israeli officials, referenced by Lazzarini in a letter to the President of the General Assembly on February 22 as part of "a concerted effort by some Israeli officials to deceptively conflate UNRWA with Hamas, to disrupt UNRWA’s operations, and to call for the dismantling of the Agency."

Further complicating the situation, on March 24, Lazzarini disclosed that Israeli authorities informed the UN of their refusal to permit UNRWA food convoys to enter northern Gaza, exacerbating the risk of famine.

Additionally, since October 7, at least 33,797 Palestinians have lost their lives in Gaza, with extensive destruction witnessed across the Strip. The United Nations Satellite Centre corroborated reports of widespread devastation, with approximately 90 percent of structures along the Gaza-Israel border sustaining damage or destruction. Petra

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