France has announced that it will provide 30 million euros to UNRWA, so long as it “completes its mission … devoid of any call to hatred or violence.”

France will provide 30 million euros ($32 million) for the embattled UN Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA if it commits to neutrality, the foreign ministry said Thursday, without giving a timeline for payments.

“We will make our contributions ensuring that the conditions have been met for UNRWA to complete its missions in a spirit devoid of any call to hatred or violence,” ministry spokesman Christophe Lemoine said.

He gave no timeline for the payments, which usually are made quarter by quarter.

“We have always said UNRWA played a crucial role in Gaza and in the region and that it must imperatively be able to continue its work,” Lemoine said.

Last year France provided the agency with 60 million euros in funding.

UNRWA, which coordinates nearly all aid to Gaza, has been in crisis since Israel accused about a dozen of its 13,000 Gaza employees of being involved in the attack by Palestinian militant group Hamas against it on October 7.

This led many donors, including the United States, to suspend their funding in January.

France at the time said it had no funding planned for UNRWA for the first quarter of 2024.

Right groups condemned the decision, pointing to a “worsening humanitarian catastrophe” and “looming famine” in the besieged Palestinian territory of Gaza, where Israeli forces after October 7 launched a devastating military campaign.

The United Nations has since fired the accused employees and launched both an internal probe and an independent investigation into UNWRA.

A preliminary investigation found “critical areas” that need to be addressed despite a “significant number of mechanisms and procedures to ensure compliance with the humanitarian principle of neutrality”, a UN spokesperson said last week.

The final report is due to be presented to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on April 20.

With AFP