United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres has described the UN Palestinian Refugee Agency (UNRWA) as the backbone of all humanitarian response in Gaza and appealed to all countries to guarantee the continuity of UNRWA’s lifesaving work.
Several countries including the United States, UNRWA’s biggest donor, paused funding after Israel accused some agency staff of taking part in the October 7 attack by Hamas.
Speaking to the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP) on Wednesday, Guterres said he was personally shocked by the accusations waged against UNRWA staff but stressed the need to overcome the termination.
Describing conditions inside the besieged enclave, the UN chief said heavy rains were flooding makeshift tent camps, forcing children, parents and the elderly to sleep in the mud. Clean water has become almost completely inaccessible and preventable diseases are widespread, while the health system has collapsed.