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regular-article-logo Monday, 20 May 2024

Saudi Arabia boosts funding to UNRWA by $40 million targeting Gaza relief

The donation by the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief), which is dedicated to Gaza, comes as UNRWA faces a severe funds crunch after the US and Britain paused support following Israel’s accusations that a dozen of its 13,000 staff in Gaza took part in the October 7 Hamas attack on the country

Reuters Riyadh Published 21.03.24, 09:46 AM
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Representational image File image

A Saudi-funded humanitarian agency pledged on Wednesday to boost the kingdom’s funding to the UN Palestinian refugee agency (UNRWA) by $40 million, according to a statement.

The donation by the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief), which is dedicated to Gaza, comes as UNRWA faces a severe funds crunch after the US and Britain paused support following Israel’s accusations that a dozen of its 13,000 staff in Gaza took part in the October 7 Hamas attack on the country.

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UNRWA manages shelters, and provides food and healthcare for nearly 2 million people in Gaza, according to its website. A UN-backed report warned on Monday that northern Gaza faced imminent famine and as global pressure mounts on Israel to allow more humanitarian aid into the enclave of 2.3 million people.

Canada, Australia, and Sweden have recently restored funding to UNRWA, while several Gulf countries, in addition to Saudi Arabia have increased funding.

But that still may not be enough. “The US is our largest, largest donor so no amount of compensation by other donors, as generous as they are, can actually fill the gap that is left by the US,” said Tamara al-Rifai, an UNRWA spokesperson. Saudi Arabia previously announced a $2 million contribution to UNRWA in October, while KSrelief provided $15 million to the agency in November.

West Bank strike

Israeli forces killed two Palestinians in an air strike targeting a car in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin on Wednesday, the Palestine Red Crescent said.

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