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European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR)
News article29 January 2024Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations

European Commission Statement on UNRWA

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The European Union is one of the largest donors of humanitarian and development aid to Palestinians in Gaza.

Humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank will continue unabated through partner organisations.

Currently, no additional funding to UNRWA is foreseen until the end of February.

The European Commission will determine upcoming funding decisions for UNRWA in light of the very serious allegations made on 24 January relating to the involvement of UNRWA staff in the heinous 7 October attacks.

The Commission will review the matter in light of the outcome of the investigation announced by the UN and the actions it will take. The Commission welcomes the information provided by UNRWA as well as the launch of the investigation.

It expects UNRWA to agree to carrying out an audit of the Agency to be conducted by EU appointed independent external experts, reviewing, thereby the pillar assessment, focusing specifically on the control systems needed to prevent the possible involvement of its staff in terrorist activities. It also expects a strengthening of  UNRWA's Department of Internal Investigations (DIOS) which is key in this regard.

Finally, a review of all UNRWA staff should be launched soonest to confirm that they did not participate in the attacks.

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