UNRWA: Finance

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered at on 4 April 2024.

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Photo of The Bishop of Worcester The Bishop of Worcester Bishop

To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact on the livelihoods of Palestinian refugees in Syria, Jordan and Lebanon of the decision to suspend aid to the United Nations Refugee and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East.

Photo of Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

The UK provided £35 million to UNRWA this financial year, including an uplift of £16 million for the Gaza humanitarian response, all of which was disbursed before the recent allegations came to light. No more British funding is due this financial year and we have paused any future funding of UNRWA..

Indeed, we are appalled by allegations that UNRWA staff were involved in the 7 October attack against Israel, a heinous act of terrorism that the UK Government has repeatedly condemned.

We want UNRWA to give detailed undertakings about changes in personnel, policy and precedents to ensure this can never happen again. We are working with allies to try to bring this situation to a rapid conclusion. I have discussed this with Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini on several occasions, most recently on 4 April.

We are aware that the UN Office of Internal Oversight Services and Catherine Colonna have now provided their interim reports to the UN Secretary-General.

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