Egypt's Foreign Minister, Sameh Shoukry, held a conversation with Philippe Lazzarini, the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), reaffirming Egypt's support for the agency's critical role amidst its current challenges.
According to Ahmed Abu Zeid, the official spokesperson and Director of Public Diplomacy at the Egyptian Foreign Ministry, Minister Shoukry highlighted the pivotal services provided by UNRWA to Palestinian refugees, particularly in the dire humanitarian circumstances prevailing in the Gaza Strip.
Shoukry emphasized the unacceptable nature of certain countries' decisions to suspend funding for UNRWA, especially at this sensitive juncture, which could be perceived as collective punishment against both the agency's workforce, which numbers around 30,000, and the Palestinian people.
This comes in the wake of allegations involving a very limited number of UNRWA staff in the events of October 7, allegations that are still under internal investigation and review by the agency's bodies, noted for their transparency.
In the same vein, Shoukry voiced concerns over attempts to target UNRWA at this difficult time, which could exacerbate the severe impacts of Israel's blockade, starvation, and collective punishment policies on Palestinians. He reaffirmed Egypt's solidarity with UNRWA and its commitment to support the agency in continuing to provide essential services to Palestinians.