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Japan announced this Tuesday that it will resume funding for the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Middle East (UNRWA), suspended in January due to alleged links to the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas.

“UNRWA is taking steps to improve management. In response, we decided to lift the temporary suspension of funding and provide support. The humanitarian situation in Palestine is urgent and UNRWA’s involvement in assistance is essential.”said the Japanese Foreign Minister.

Yoko Kamikawa announced at a press conference the delivery, soon, of a contribution of around 33 million euroswhich was scheduled for fiscal year 2023, which ended on March 31 in Japan.


Japan’s decision comes after Kamikawa met with UNRWA Commissioner General, Philippe Lazzarini, at the end of last month, to learn about the verification and management improvement processes at UNRWA, in an assessment that Japanese authorities considered positive.

In January, Tokyo suspended aid to UNRWA after Israel accused several of the agency’s employees of alleged links to Hamas, which is considered a terrorist organization by Israel, the United States and the European Union.

By withdrawing financing, the Japan called for “a formal investigation”highlighting the agency’s “essential role” in providing health services, medical care, education and food to millions of Palestinian refugees, especially in the Gaza Strip.

With more than 30 thousand employees, the UNRWA is the largest organization in the Gaza Stripoutside the enclave government, under Hamas control since 2007.

The war between Israel and Hamas, ongoing for almost six months, has displaced most of Gaza’s population and put a third of its inhabitants on the brink of starvation.


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