Italy announces resumption of funding from UNRWA

Italy announces resumption of funding from UNRWA
Italy announces resumption of funding from UNRWA

The head of Italian diplomacy Antonio Tajani announced on Saturday the resumption of funding for the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA). He said this after a meeting with Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Mustapha in Rome.

“I informed Mr. Mustapha that the government has planned new funding for the Palestinian population for a total amount of 35 million euros (…) of which five will be allocated to UNRWA,” said Mr. Tajani according to a press release.

“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 Mr. Tajani .

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.

Mr. 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.

In crisis

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, and Switzerland, to abruptly suspend funding to the agency, threatening its efforts to deliver aid to Gaza, although several states have since resumed their payments.

An independent review of UNRWA’s situation, led by former French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna, highlighted some “problems linked 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.

Relaunch the political process

Mr. Tajani also confirmed to Mr. Mustapha Italy’s “full support” for the Palestinian Authority (ANP). “As far as we are concerned, we fully support the ANP. As the current presidency of the G7, we are working for a period of peace, we strongly demand an immediate ceasefire in Gaza,” he said. he says.

Ms. Meloni, for her part, reiterated in a message at the end of her meeting with Mr. Mustapha “Italian support for all ongoing efforts aimed at achieving a lasting ceasefire, the release of all the hostages in the hands of Hamas and a qualitative leap in humanitarian assistance to the population of Gaza”.

The head of the Italian government also underlined “the need to relaunch a political process leading to lasting peace based on the two-state solution.”

This article was automatically published. Sources: ats / afp

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