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Norway calls on donors to resume aid to UN agency for Palestinians

AFP
AFP - [email protected]
Norway calls on donors to resume aid to UN agency for Palestinians
Norway has called on other countries to unfreeze donations to the UNWRA. Norway's Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide (R) (Photo by Genya Savilov / AFP).

Norway, which heads the group of donors for Palestine (AHLC), on Tuesday urged donors to resume their aid to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees UNRWA.

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The call came the day after an independent review group said that while it had found some "neutrality-related issues" in its much-anticipated report on the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, it noted that "Israel has yet to provide supporting evidence" for its claim that UNRWA employs more than 400 "terrorists."

"I am very pleased that countries like Australia, Canada, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Japan and Sweden have already reversed their decisions and resumed funding to UNRWA," Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide said in a statement.

"I would now like to call on countries that have still frozen their contributions to UNRWA to resume funding," he said.

Norway is one of the few major donors that maintained its funding to UNRWA despite allegations by Israel in January that some UNRWA staff may have participated in the October 7th, 2023 Hamas attack on Israel which resulted in the deaths of about 1,170 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on official Israeli figures.

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In the weeks that followed the allegations, numerous donor states suspended or paused some $450 million in funding.

According to the Hamas health ministry, more than 34,000 people have been killed since the beginning of Israel's retaliatory offensive in Gaza, whose population is now at risk of famine.

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