UNRWA funding cuts threaten Palestinian lives in Gaza and region, say 20 NGOs

Publié: 29th janvier 2024

Oxfam, together with 19 other aid organizations, is deeply concerned and outraged that some of the largest donors have suspended funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), the main aid provider for millions of Palestinians in Gaza and the region. The aid cuts come amid a rapidly worsening humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza. 

The suspension of funding by donor states will impact life-saving assistance for over two million civilians, over half of whom are children, who rely on UNRWA aid in Gaza. The population faces starvation, looming famine and an outbreak of disease under Israel’s continued indiscriminate bombardment and deliberate deprivation of aid in Gaza. 

We welcome UNRWA’s swift investigation into the alleged involvement of a small number of UN staff members in the October 7th  attacks. We are shocked by the reckless decision to cut a lifeline for an entire population by some of the very countries that had called for aid in Gaza to be stepped up and for humanitarians to be protected while doing their job. This decision comes as the International Court of Justice ordered immediate and effective action to ensure the provision of humanitarian assistance to civilians in Gaza. 

152 UNRWA staff have already been killed and 145 UNRWA facilities damaged by bombardment. UNRWA is the largest humanitarian agency in Gaza and their delivery of humanitarian assistance cannot be replaced by other agencies working in Gaza. If the funding suspensions are not reversed we may see a complete collapse of the already restricted humanitarian response in Gaza. 

With approximately over one million displaced Palestinians taking shelter in or around 154 UNRWA shelters, the agency and aid organizations have continued to work in near-impossible circumstances to provide food, vaccinations, and fresh water. The countries suspending funds risk further depriving Palestinians in the region of essential food, water, medical assistance and supplies, education, and protection.

We urge donor states to reaffirm support for the vital work that UNRWA and its partners do to help Palestinians survive one of the worst humanitarian catastrophes of our times. Countries must reverse these funding suspensions, uphold their duties towards the Palestinian people and scale up humanitarian assistance for civilians in dire need in Gaza and the region. 

Signatory organizations:

  1. War Child Alliance
  2. ActionAid
  3. Norwegian Refugee Council 
  4. Diakonia 
  5. Oxfam 
  6. Première Urgence Internationale 
  7. Médecins du Monde France, Spain, Switzerland, Canada, Germany
    Danish Refugee Council
  8. Johanniter International Assistance
  9. The Association of International Development Agencies - Aida
  10. Humanity & Inclusion/ Handicap International (HI)
  12. CCFD-Terre Solidaire
  13. International Council for Voluntary Agencies
  14. Norwegian People's Aid
  15. Plateforme des ONG françaises pour la Palestine
  16. Norwegian Church Aid 
  17. DanChurchAid
  18. American Friends Service Committee
  19. Caritas Internationalis
  20. Save the Children 


 Media office in Jerusalem | ‪+972 54 669 3992 | Media.OPTI@oxfam.org 

For updates, please follow @NewsFromOxfam and @Oxfam