MSF is deeply alarmed by decision to suspend funding to UNRWA

30 Jan 2024

Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) is deeply alarmed by the decision of some countries, including Australia, to suspend their funding to UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East), which is a lifeline for millions of Palestinians in Gaza Strip, the West Bank and the region. 

Nearly the entire Gazan population now relies on UNRWA for basic necessities, including food, water and hygiene supplies. 

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In the Gaza strip, the humanitarian crisis has reached catastrophic levels, and any additional limitations on aid will result in more deaths and suffering. 

Humanitarian organisations are already grappling to meet even a fraction of the urgent needs in Gaza. Much more aid is required to meet those needs, not less. The consequences these cuts in funding will have on the ground contradict the provisional measures issued by the International Court of Justice on Friday (26th January), which include immediate measures to ensure sufficient humanitarian aid flows into Gaza.

At this critical time, donor states (including Australia) should be using all possible means to increase the flow of humanitarian assistance and maintain funding for services in Gaza, not suspending funding to any agencies on the basis of allegations about a small group of people that are currently being investigated by the Israeli Government.

Simon Eccleshall
MSF Australia’s Head of Programs

“MSF is working alongside UN agencies and NGOs in Gaza in strict respect of international law and humanitarian principles - despite the ongoing horrendous attacks on civilians, medical personnel and facilities,” said Simon Eccleshall, MSF Australia’s Head of Programs.

MSF continues to call for an immediate and sustained ceasefire, and for the lifting of the siege to allow increased and continuous humanitarian supplies to cross into Gaza for the nearly 2.2 million people in the enclave.

Join us in calling for an immediate ceasefire

We are calling for an enduring humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza to prevent further civilian deaths and allow aid workers unrestricted access to provide lifesaving medical care. 
MSF Australia is calling on the Australian Parliament to unite in their call for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza.