UN Security Council meets after funding cuts to agency in Gaza

The United Nations Security Council met behind closed doors on Tuesday to discuss the role of the UN Relief and Works Agency, or UNRWA. Israel has accused staff members at the agency of participating in the October 7 Hamas attacks.

The US and other major donors halted funding in response to the accusations. UN officials have launched an investigation.

US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said her country and others will not resume their support unless they see "fundamental changes," including a review of how the agency operates, how the staff is managed and how UN officials can ensure those who commit criminal acts are "held accountable."

But the UN's senior humanitarian coordinator for Gaza, Sigrid Kaag, said the lack of funding threatens the lives of civilians. She added that no organization can replace UNRWA's "tremendous capacity," as well as its ability and knowledge of the population of Gaza.

UN health officials have also stressed that "now is not the time" to abandon people in Gaza.