$35M aid to be delivered in Gaza as Japan ends bar on UNRWA funding

Humanitarian situation in Gaza continues to worsen, our responsibility to respond to crisis, says Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa

11:35 - 2/04/2024 الثلاثاء
File photo
File photo

Japan's top diplomat on Tuesday announced to resume funding to the UN agency for refugees in Palestine, or the UNRWA, Kyodo news agency reported.

Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa said $35 million of the originally planned funding will be released. "The humanitarian situation in the Palestinian territory of Gaza continues to worsen. It is our country's responsibility to respond to the crisis as a member of the UN Security Council," she said.

Earlier this year, Japan joined several of its western allies, including the US and the UK, to halt the funding to the UN agency in the wake of allegations by Tel Aviv against UNRWA.

However, several countries including Australia, Canada, Sweden, and Iceland have since resumed the funding.

In February, Japan also announced an additional emergency aid of $32 million for Palestinians, saying it will be provided through the UN World Food Program, WHO, UNICEF and other international organizations.

Meanwhile, New Zealand also announced $6 million in humanitarian assistance to those affected by conflict in Gaza and Sudan.

Foreign Minister Winston Peters, who arrived in Egypt a day earlier on his first visit to Cairo, said his country stands with Egypt, the Arab League and the overwhelming consensus of the international community in calling on all parties to comply with last week's UNSC resolution demanding an immediate cease-fire.

Israel has waged a military offensive on the Gaza Strip since an Oct. 7 cross-border attack by Hamas which killed some 1,200 people.

Nearly 32,800 Palestinians have since been killed besides causing mass destruction, displacement and conditions of famine.

Israel has imposed a crippling blockade on the Gaza Strip, leaving its population, particularly residents of northern Gaza, on the verge of starvation.

Accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), Israel has been ordered to ensure "unhindered provision" of urgent aid to Gaza. The court said “Palestinians in Gaza are no longer facing only a risk of famine ... but that famine is setting in.”

#New Zealand
#Yoko Kamikawa
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