EU Foreign Policy Chief: Cutting Funds to UNRWA Would Put Hundreds of Thousands of Palestinians at Risk

Brussels, February 05 (QNA) – EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell stressed that cutting funds to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) would put hundreds of thousands of lives at risk.

In a blog post, Borrel said that “defunding UNRWA would be both disproportionate and dangerous… The wrongdoing of individuals should never lead to the collective punishment of an entire population.”
He added that neither the European Commission, nor Germany or France have decided to end their contributions, noting that the suspended funds amount to more than USD 440 million, almost half of the agency’s expected income in 2024, putting its very existence at risk.

“I am confident that the UN will take all the necessary measures following the Israeli allegations, and that UNRWA will continue to be a vital lifeline for millions of Palestinian people,” the European official said.

The European Union was the third largest donor to UNRWA after the United States and Germany in 2022.

According to UNRWA, 16 donor countries, including the United States, stopped funding the UN agency after the Israeli occupation authorities claimed that employees of the agency participated in the “Al-Aqsa Flood” operation on October 7, but other countries continued funding to address the humanitarian situation in the Palestinian territories.

Last Friday, UNRWA announced that it may have to stop its operations in the Middle East, including in the Gaza Strip, by the end of February, if funding is not resumed. (QNA)