Americans for Peace Now (APN) calls upon the Biden Administration to end the suspension of funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).
APN is very troubled by reports that 12 UNRWA employees may have been involved in Hamas’ horrific October 7 attacks and we welcome the news that UNRWA immediately terminated their employment contracts. The Commissioner-General of UNRWA has urged that the examination of these staff members be supervised by the top investigative body within the United Nations. Simultaneously, the UN Secretary-General emphasized the Secretariat's commitment to collaborating with a competent authority for the prosecution of the individuals involved.
At the start of the war, UNRWA employed nearly 13,000 people in Gaza. We must not let the small fraction of employees accused of taking part in Hamas attacks distract from the vital work that UNRWA does as the chief distributor of humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Gaza.
During this unprecedented humanitarian crisis, UNRWA has been at the forefront of providing aid to those in need. UNRWA provides critical, life-saving services to more than 2 million people. As more and more Palestinians in Gaza are facing the risk of starvation or serious illness, UNRWA must be allowed to continue its operations unimpeded with full access to US assistance. We call upon the Biden Administration to resume funding as swiftly as possible.