Lebanon called on the international community on Monday to intensify efforts in support of the UN agency that cares for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, to enable it to continue carrying out its humanitarian tasks towards Palestinian refugees in Lebanon and neighboring countries.

A statement by the Foreign Ministry emphasized that there is no alternative to UNRWA, which was established following Israel’s creation in 1948 to care for Palestinians who had fled to neighboring states. “UNRWA’s role will inevitably end when an independent Palestinian state is established under a two-state solution that guarantees the rights of all refugees and their return to their homeland.”

The Ministry stressed that in Lebanon, UNRWA has accumulated the knowledge and expertise “that makes it the most capable of assisting Palestinian refugees, in light of the difficult economic and humanitarian conditions they live in.”

It also commended the position of certain donor countries that decided to resume or even increase their assistance to UNRWA, and called on countries that suspended their contributions to join in and invest in building a better future for the Palestinians while keeping the specter of extremism and despair away from them, a common interest for host and donor countries alike.

Key donor countries, including the US and European states, suspended their funding of UNRWA after several of the agency’s staff were accused by Israel of involvement in the October 7 Hamas attack.