Following Official Reply, PRC Presses UK Government to Reconsider UNRWA Funding Cut

Following Official Reply, PRC Presses UK Government to Reconsider UNRWA Funding Cut

The Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) in London has received an official reply from the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) in response to a letter we sent earlier, urging the Foreign Secretary to reconsider the UK government's decision to cut funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

In our letter, dated Feb. 08, we emphasized the critical importance of continued support for UNRWA in providing essential services to Palestinian refugees, whose needs have only grown more urgent in the face of ongoing challenges.

While the reply from the FCDO pledges the UK government's ongoing commitment to supporting the needs of Palestinian refugees, it falls short of affirming a reversal of the decision to pause funding to UNRWA.

“We know how critical a role the agency plays in the delivery of humanitarian assistance in Gaza and across the region in Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon”, the letter read. “The [UK] Government was nevertheless appalled by the allegations that UNRWA staff were involved in the 7 October attack against Israel”.

“In pausing any future funding of UNRWA, while the Government reviews these allegations, we have been joined by the United States, Germany, Australia, Italy, Canada, Finland, Switzerland, and the Netherlands, all of whom have also temporarily paused funding”, added the letter.

PRC is deeply concerned by this response, as cutting funding to UNRWA has grave implications for the well-being of Palestinian refugees, particularly in the war-ravaged Gaza Strip, where starvation has reached unprecedented levels. UNRWA plays a critical role in providing essential services such as education, healthcare, and humanitarian assistance to millions of vulnerable Palestinians.

The decision to withhold funding from UNRWA is viewed by PRC as a form of collective punishment against Palestinian refugees, who are already facing dire humanitarian conditions. It also makes part of an ongoing Israeli scheme to liquidate the Palestinian cause and delegitimize the Agency’s humanitarian mission.

The UK government should urgently reconsider this decision and resume funding to UNRWA to ensure the continuation of vital services for Palestinian refugees.

PRC urges the UK government to demonstrate its commitment to upholding the rights and dignity of Palestinian refugees by taking immediate action to reverse this harmful decision.

PRC continues to warn that the reduction of funding to UNRWA has the potential to escalate tensions in the region as the services provided by the UN Agency contribute significantly to stability by addressing the basic needs of the refugee population. Denying them access to education and healthcare not only endangers their lives but also contributes to a cycle of despair that can fuel unrest and insecurity.

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