In a press release issued on Friday, the European Commission announced that it would pay “50 million euros to UNRWA,” and that it would “increase emergency aid to the Palestinians by 68 million euros in 2024.”

This decision is intended to alleviate the financial crisis hanging over the UN agency assisting millions of Palestinian refugees in five different  locations, namely the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon.

UNRWA’s Director in Lebanon, Dorothee Klaus, declared lately that the UN agency for Palestinian refugees “would have to interrupt its services in Lebanon by the end of March if the donors who have cut their funding did not reverse their decision.” As a reminder, this crisis began when Israel accused twelve UNRWA employees in January of taking part in the Hamas attack on its territory on October 7.

“The Commission has decided to allocate a further 68 million euros to support the Palestinian population throughout the region via international partners such as the Red Cross and Red Crescent. This is in addition to the 82 million euros of aid planned to be implemented through UNRWA in 2024, bringing the total to 150 million euros. The Commission will proceed with the payment of 50 million euros from the UNRWA envelope next week,” the text also states.

The Commission also “welcomed the investigation carried out by the United Nations Office of Internal Oversight Services to shed light on the serious allegations made against UNRWA staff.” It also congratulated the UN on setting up “an independent review panel headed by Catherine Colonna to determine whether UNRWA is doing everything in its power to ensure neutrality and respond to allegations of serious misconduct.”

The European Commission’s press release also stated: “Following exchanges with the Commission, UNRWA has also indicated that it is prepared to ensure that a review of its staff is carried out to confirm that they were not involved in the attacks, and that additional controls are put in place to mitigate any such risks in the future.”

To provide maximum transparency, UNRWA has also “agreed to the launch of an audit of the agency to be conducted by external experts appointed by the European Union,” the text also reads. “This audit will focus on the control systems designed to prevent the possible involvement of its staff and assets in terrorist activities.”

The Commission also reiterated its support for UNRWA, announcing that “it remains fully committed to responding to the critical humanitarian situation of the Palestinian people, particularly in Gaza, but also more widely in the region.”

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