Instead of Cutting aid, Help the Gazans

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Ibrahim Khalil Ahasan

More than 10 Western countries have stopped providing financial assistance to the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which is an essential UN organization operating in the Middle East. Millions of Gaza refugees depend on UNRWA for food assistance; however, the US State Department, Australia, Canada, the UK, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Finland, the Netherlands, and Japan have temporarily suspended funding for UNRWA.
Tel Aviv, which sees the agency as a shield for anti-Israel groups in Gaza, has been trying to cripple it. Out of 13,000 workers, the Israeli government has fabricated evidence against 12 staff members, whom they shared with prominent Western cities. These 12 allegedly took part in assaults against Israelis on October 7, according to Tel Aviv. Not a single piece of material has been released or independently confirmed, all of which fall into the Israeli pattern of levelling accusations, offering flimsy proof, and refusing to engage in meaningful dialogue.
The 12 accused have been dropped by UNRWA, which has launched a thorough inquiry. Currently, the only agency that may carry out the International Court of Justice’s directives in providing relief to the Palestinian people is UNRWA. UN and Arab League officials have urged countries to reevaluate stopping support for UNRWA, which keeps millions of Palestinians in camps for protection and supplies them with food and shelter.
Human rights advocates, INGOs, NGOs, and world leaders denounced the West’s foolish and careless actions. ruling that was biased and applied a double standard; a reconsideration was asked. The decision by big donors to stop paying a UN Palestinian relief agency has infuriated international humanitarian organizations. The alliance of 21 organizations, which includes ActionAid, Oxfam, and Save the Children, voiced dismay at the choice.
The region’s humanitarian situation, which is being driven by the cutting off of gasoline and supplies, will worsen as a result of the funding suspension, according to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini. Since the start of the most recent Israeli-Palestinian conflict, UNRWA operations have faced several challenges that have been made worse by problems with money, security, and staff.
This makes it quite apparent that the West politicized the humanitarian crisis. What’s more deplorable is that some Western media outlets began endorsing the West’s careless stance rather than its humanitarian ground and significance. The organization fired alleged employees before the UN opened a probe into the allegations, demonstrating how urgently it has to convince donors to keep up their support. The International Court of Justice ordered Israel to stop the genocide in Gaza at the same time as the claims against UNRWA. The choice to stop financing UNRWA goes against international humanitarian law as well as morality and ethical standards. We call on the UN to oppose this decision, which might make UN agencies in Gaza inoperable and facilitate the Israeli regime’s intention to drive out 2.3 million Palestinians from Gaza.
Following the suspension of financing by key donors for the UN agency that provides essential services to Palestinian refugees, Palestinians in Gaza are experiencing fear and terror. The National, a UAE-based media site, said that a person said that everything in life had been lost. The resident declined to identify themselves out of fear for their safety.
The suspension of UNRWA, a significant aid organization to the Palestinians, by the Biden administration is a dramatic and morally repugnant move. However, the Biden administration not only keeps providing money to Israel, but it also sends heavy armaments to the nation via special accelerated channels. In this dispute, the Biden administration is led by strategic interest rather than a coherent philosophy. Millions of Palestinians are bearing the consequences as well.
The UN fears that without funds, it won’t be able to carry out humanitarian activities into February, therefore the suspension might have disastrous effects. Funding for UNRWA is essential for Palestinian refugees, since it provides support during Israel’s blockade of Gaza, which has resulted in widespread starvation and devastating hunger. How are they going to live is the issue now.
It is a collective penalty. It is not rational nor acceptable to penalize the whole agency for the alleged activities of a tiny number of personnel based only on Israel’s purported complaint. The choice to halt UNRWA’s financing is seen as an effort to restrict the Palestinian people’s freedom to return to their homes in occupied regions. Israel has traditionally opposed UNRWA’s existence, claiming that it upholds Palestinians’ status as refugees and feeds their ongoing desire for the freedom to return to their seized territory.
The Israeli government’s argument to dismantle UNRWA’s humanitarian services, citing criticism of its educational content and the ongoing Israeli bombings in Gaza that resulted in casualties and damage to educational infrastructure, has been strengthened by the pause in funding led by the US and its so-called Western allies.
Since the 1948 conflict, the UNRWA has provided care for millions of Palestinian refugees, and its very existence is evidence of Israel’s ongoing expansion and the severe effects it has had on the Palestinian people.
It is anticipated that the funding suspension would have an impact on UNRWA’s capacity to fulfil assistance recipient obligations in February, perhaps resulting in a closure. The international community need to be more in favour of the two-state solution, a durable ceasefire, and UNRWA fund continuity.

The writer is a Bangladesh-based independent columnist and freelance journalist.