UN chief calls on countries to resume funding Gaza aid agency after allegations of militant ties

UN chief Antonio Guterres pleaded for donor states to "guarantee the continuity" of the body's Palestinian refugee agency after several halted funding over accusations of staff involvement in Hamas' 7 October attack on Israel.

United Nations Secretary-General Guterres on Sunday pleaded for donor states to "guarantee the continuity" of the body's Palestinian refugee agency, known as UNRWA, after many suspended their aid.

"While I understand their concerns -- I was myself horrified by these accusations -- I strongly appeal to the governments that have suspended their contributions to, at least, guarantee the continuity of UNRWA's operations," Guterres said in a statement.

Guterres warned that the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees, would be forced to scale back aid to more than 2 million Palestinians as soon as February.

The coastal enclave is in the grip of a severe humanitarian crisis, with a quarter of the population facing starvation.

“The abhorrent alleged acts of these staff members must have consequences,” Guterres said in a statement.

“But the tens of thousands of men and women who work for UNRWA, many in some of the most dangerous situations for humanitarian workers, should not be penalised. The dire needs of the desperate populations they serve must be met,” he added.


The US were followed by several other countries, including Australia, Britain, Germany and Italy.

(with newswires)

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