UNRWA: Finance

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered at on 8 February 2024.

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Photo of Alan Brown Alan Brown Scottish National Party, Kilmarnock and Loudoun

To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, whether he has made an assessment of the consistency of (a) the decision to pause future funding to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East and (b) paragraph 80 of the International Court of Justice's Order relating to the case of the Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide in the Gaza Strip (South Africa v Israel), published on 26 January 2024.

Photo of Leo Docherty Leo Docherty Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

We are appalled by allegations that the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) staff were involved in the 7 October attack against Israel, a heinous act of terrorism that the UK Government has repeatedly condemned. The UK is pausing any future funding of UNRWA whilst we review these concerning allegations.

However, we remain committed to getting humanitarian aid to the people in Gaza who desperately need it, and our decision to pause future funding to UNRWA has no impact on the UK's contribution to the humanitarian response. Our commitment to trebling aid to Gaza still stands, and we are getting on with aid delivery through funding multiple implementing partners including other UN agencies and international and UK NGOs. This support is helping people in Gaza get food, water, shelter and medicines.

We are also clear that an immediate pause is necessary to get aid in and hostages out, and then progress towards a sustainable, permanent ceasefire, without a return to destruction, fighting and loss of life.

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