Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Norway Supports UNRWA with €24 Mln

Thu 08 Feb 2024 | 10:22 AM
Israa Farhan

Norway, one of the major donors that hasn't suspended its funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), announced on Wednesday that it has provided the agency with 275 million kroner (€24 million) to help it address the "disastrous situation" in Gaza.

Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide stated in a press release that "UNRWA is more than just a humanitarian organization. It represents an international commitment to meeting the basic needs of Palestinian refugees until a political solution to the conflict is reached."

Israel has accused UNRWA of being "completely penetrated by Hamas" and claimed that 12 out of the agency's 13,000 employees in Gaza were involved in the attack launched by the movement on October 7.

In response to these Israeli allegations, nearly 12 countries, including major donor entities such as the United States, Germany, Britain, and Sweden, have suspended their funding to the agency.

UNRWA warned that its operations are at risk of being halted "by the end of February" if its funders do not reverse their decision.

In his statement, the Norwegian minister addressed Israel's allegations against UNRWA, stating that "these claims are shocking, and we demand full transparency. There should be no tolerance for such actions."

However, the minister added that millions of individuals should not be punished collectively for alleged actions committed by 12 employees, urging all donors to consider the consequences of their decision to suspend funding to the UN agency.

The Norwegian minister described the situation of Palestinians in Gaza, as well as in other parts of the Middle East, as "disastrous."

Norway's stance comes after United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced on Monday the establishment of an independent committee tasked with conducting a "neutral" assessment of UNRWA.