Saudi Arabia pledges $40M to support UN agency for Palestinian refugees


Saudi Arabia announced Wednesday that it will donate $40 million to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), which has been under pressure following funding cuts due to Israeli allegations, the Saudi Press Agency reported. 

The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSrelief) signed a $40 million financial support memorandum with UNRWA to support its emergency appeal in Gaza, said the report.

The memorandum was signed by KSrelief Supervisor General Abdullah Al Rabeeah and UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini.

“The financial support covers the food security sector for Palestinians in Gaza, benefiting 250,638 individuals and providing shelter aid and other non-food items to 20,019 families, representing 200,190 individuals,” it added.

The report noted that this is part of the Kingdom’s persistent efforts through KSrelief to provide relief to Palestinians in Gaza and to alleviate their suffering amid the current humanitarian crisis.

UNRWA has been hindered from doing its job since January, when Israel accused a handful of its thousands of employees of being involved in the Oct. 7, 2023 cross-border incursion into Israel by the Palestinian group Hamas.

Amid a probe of the claims, several countries have cut off funding to the agency, and its aid work for Gaza’s famine-stricken population has suffered.

At least 18 countries initially suspended funding to the agency amid the allegations.

UNRWA was created by the UN General Assembly more than 70 years ago to assist Palestinians who were forcibly displaced from their land.

The agency provides crucial support to millions of Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip, West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and other areas where large numbers of registered Palestinians live.

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