Home World How UNRWA Donor Countries Have Responded to Israel’s Accusations

How UNRWA Donor Countries Have Responded to Israel’s Accusations

How UNRWA Donor Countries Have Responded to Israel’s Accusations


Israel’s accusations that a dozen United Nations workers in Gaza had participated in the Hamas-led Oct. 7 attacks have prompted some donor nations to re-evaluate their commitments to the agency that provides food, water and other essential services to Palestinian civilians.

The United Nations said on Friday that it had fired the accused workers from the agency, known as UNRWA, and opened an investigation. Some countries have responded by suspending funding to UNRWA, while others have said they will maintain their support.

Here is a look the steps announced by some leading donors, ranked according to the amount they have pledged:

  • United States: Suspending funding. The United States is the agency’s largest donor, having pledged $344 million in 2022. The State Department said in a statement that it was withholding less than $1 million that had been approved but not yet disbursed, and that it was pausing additional funding “while we review these allegations and the steps the United Nations is taking to address them.”

  • Germany: Temporarily suspending all new funding pending the outcome of an investigation into the allegations against the UNRWA workers. Germany pledged $202 million to the agency in 2022.

  • European Union: No plans to suspend funding. The European Union, which contributed 82 million euros to UNRWA in 2023, reiterated its support of the agency’s role in addressing the humanitarian crisis, and said it would make “upcoming funding decisions in light of the outcome of the investigation.”

  • Norway: Continuing its funding, which was $34 million in 2022. Though it expressed deep concerned over the allegations, Norway urged other donors to reflect on the consequences of cutting funding, saying: “We should not collectively punish millions of people.”

  • Japan: Suspending funding “for the time being.”

  • Turkey: Expressed concern that some countries had cut off funding and said the decisions, in response to “allegations against a few UNRWA staff, will primarily harm the Palestinian people.”

  • Canada: Pausing additional funding pending an investigation into the allegations against the UNRWA workers.

  • The Netherlands: Suspending all funding “until the investigation is concluded.”

  • Britain: Suspending funding. The British government said it was “appalled” by the allegations.

  • Spain: Continuing funding. Foreign Minister José Manuel Albares said Monday that “only a dozen of the 30,000” UNRWA employees had been accused of crimes.

  • Australia: Said it would “temporarily pause disbursement of recently announced funding.”

  • Ireland: No plans to suspend funding. Ireland welcomed UNRWA’s decision to investigate and said the agency’s 13,000 employees in Gaza provide lifesaving assistance at “incredible personal cost” — noting that more than 100 UNRWA workers had been killed in the fighting.

  • Austria: Temporarily suspending “all further payments” to UNRWA until the accusations are clarified.

  • Finland: Suspending funding, saying that “we must make sure that not a single euro of Finland’s money goes to Hamas.”

Edward Wong contributed reporting.


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