• Amman

  • Tuesday, May 21, 2024 at 5:34 AM
    Last Update : Friday, May 24, 2024 at 8:19 AM

UNRWA is Irreplaceable in Providing Aid to Palestinians, Says Jordan’s FM

(AWP) - The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) is carrying out its role in Gaza despite the war conditions in the Strip, confirmed Ayman Safadi, Jordan’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister.

Safadi said, during a press conference with UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini, “The accusations hurled against UNRWA proved to be false and the attempt to politically assassinate the UN agency has failed.”

He added, “Despite all the pressures, UNRWA continues fulfilling its role. It offers whatever it can to provide aid to 2.3 million Palestinians suffering under this brutal war and all its inhumane repercussions of killing, devastation and lack of food, medicine, treatment and education.”

Safadi stressed, “UNRWA cannot be replaced by any other organization because there is no other organization that has the capabilities, knowledge and resources it has in aiding the Palestinian people who are facing an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe.”

However, the top Jordanian diplomat said that the agency is facing huge financial challenges due to recent defunding.

He explained, “Sixteen countries had stopped their funding after accusations were made against it. Now, 14 of them have resumed their financing and affirmed their support for the agency.”

For his part, Lazzarini said about half a million people are living in destroyed buildings in the Gaza Strip, and half of Gaza’s population are living on the streets following forced displacement.

He added, “The people in Gaza have no other option but to return to their destroyed homes as there are no safe places for them to go in the Gaza Strip, whether in the north or south.”

Lazzarini said that UNRWA’s aid convoys were deliberately attacked while they were heading to Gaza and called for investigations into those responsible for the attacks and holding them accountable immediately.

He explained, “I have always warned against repeated and deliberate targeting of UN organizations and staff in Gaza. Many UN staff were killed – 198 workers from UNRWA alone – while 160 sites of the organization were partially or completely destroyed. Hundreds of its workers were killed or detained in Gaza.”

The UN official stressed the need to reach an appropriate political solution that restores the status of the UN agency, noting that Israel’s military operations at the Palestinian side of the Rafah crossing are preventing aid deliveries reaching Gaza.