The UN’s largest agency in Gaza is becoming increasingly “desperate” with humanitarian needs “increasing by the hour”.
Its biggest donors, including UK, US and Germany have all suspended funds, as well as Japan and Austria.
UNRWA distributes half of Gaza’s aid. With aid now grinding to a halt, it is reported that Palestinians have been forced to sell food aid with an urgent need for cash.
Without wood or cooking space, cash is needed pay entrepreneurial women to bake flour and children to grind grain.
Under current conditions, international organisations are only getting around 200 aid trucks a day into Gaza.
It comes after an Israeli intelligence dossier, reported by the New York Times, alleges that nearly 200 UNRWA workers had links to Hamas or Islamic Jihad, though no detailed evidence has been given beyond the allegations.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he was “horrified” by the accusations and appealed to donor countries to “guarantee the continuity of UNRWA’s operations”.
The US pledged $343.9 million in 2022 to UNRWA, closely followed by Germany ($202 million) and the EU ($114).
Several NGOs, including Save The Children and Oxfam, said they are “deeply concerned and outraged that some of the largest donors have united to suspend funding”.
“The countries suspending funds risk further depriving Palestinians in the region of essential food, water, medical assistance and supplies, education and protection,” the NGOs said in a shared statement, signed by some of the world’s biggest NGOs working with refugees and displaced children including War Child Alliance, Norwegian Refugee Council and ActionAid.
Meanwhile in Jordan, the government’s public security authorities have warned of fake donations purported to be raising money for Gaza. A government spokesperson urged the public to ensure funds go towards authorised organisations.
Community foundations continue to work despite worsening conditions. The Dalia Association, a community foundation working for Palestinian rights to control their own resources, has announced a new Gaza Fund. Funding will support Palestinian workers expelled from their jobs and thrown out to the West Bank.
Shafi Musaddique is the news editor at Alliance magazine.