Italy announces it will resume funding from the UN agency for Palestinian refugees

The head of Italian diplomacy Antonio Tajani announced on Saturday the resumption of funding for the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) after a meeting with Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Mustapha in Rome. “I informed Mohammad Mustapha that the government has planned new funding for the Palestinian population in a total amount of 35 million euros (…) of which five will be allocated to UNRWA,” Antonio said in a statement. communicated.

Mohammad Mustapha, whose first trip to Europe since his appointment to this post last March by the President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas, subsequently met the head of the Italian government, Giorgia Meloni. “Italy has decided to resume financing specific projects intended to assist Palestinian refugees, but only after rigorous controls which guarantee that not even a cent risks being used to support terrorism,” underlined Antonio Tajani.

“Problems linked to neutrality” highlighted

The other 30 million euros are intended for the “Food for Gaza” initiative launched by Italy in collaboration with UN agencies, the press release specifies. UNRWA, which coordinates almost all aid to Gaza, has been in crisis since January, when Israel accused a dozen of its 13,000 Gaza employees of being involved in the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7. .

This led many countries, including the United States, the main donor, to abruptly suspend funding to the agency, threatening its efforts to deliver aid to Gaza, although several states have since resumed their operations. payments.

An independent review of UNRWA’s situation, led by former French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna, highlighted some “problems related to the neutrality” of the agency, but stressed that Israel does not had not yet provided evidence of his main accusations. Created in 1949, the agency employs around 30,000 people in the Palestinian territories, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.

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