UNRWA short of funding to continue support for Gaza civilians

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres issued a statement on Sunday responding to allegations that staff with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East were involved in the attacks by Hamas militants on October 7.

Guterres said "Of the 12 people implicated, nine were immediately identified and terminated by the Commissioner-General of UNRWA, Philippe Lazzarini; one is confirmed dead, and the identity of the two others is being clarified."

He said "Any UN employee involved in acts of terror will be held accountable, including through criminal prosecution."

In relation to nine countries' temporary suspension of funds to the Agency, Guterres said "2 million civilians in Gaza depend on critical aid from UNRWA for daily survival, but UNRWA's current funding will not allow it to meet all requirements to support them in February."

He is asking the governments that have suspended their contributions to guarantee the continuity of UNRWA's operations.