Skip to main content

Government grants financial support to UNRWA

At today's regular session, the Slovenian Government adopted a decision on a financial contribution to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in the amount of EUR 500,000.

With the decision to continue funding UNRWA, the Government is responding to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ appeal to donor countries to ensure the continued operation of the most important humanitarian organisation in Gaza.

UNRWA's lack of funding risks a complete collapse of the humanitarian system in Gaza and the West Bank and could also affect the living conditions of Palestinians in refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. UNRWA provides vital services such as hospital maintenance, social support and access to essentials such as water, food and fuel, which are the basis for the daily survival of millions of Palestinians.

In light of the extremely serious allegations of the involvement of 12 UNRWA staff in the 7 October Hamas terrorist attack on Israel, Slovenia expects UNRWA and the entire UN system to take appropriate action as part of the review and investigation of the Agency's work. There must be no place in UNRWA for supporting violence and incitement to hatred.

In response to the allegations, Slovenia welcomed the decision of UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini to immediately dismiss those accused and to launch an internal investigation. The Government also welcomed the appointment of an independent review group to assess UNRWA activities and internal procedures with a view to ensuring neutrality and greater transparency in the Agency's work.

On Friday 23 February, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Tanja Fajon will meet in New York with the Chair of the Independent Review Group on UNRWA, former French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna, to support her work. On the margins of this week's General Assembly and Security Council meetings, Minister Fajon will also hold talks with UNRWA Commissioner-General Lazzarini.

Slovenia will continue to do its utmost to support all its partners in ensuring basic human dignity in devastated Gaza and the Middle East.

At today's session, the Government also decided to provide material assistance to the Palestinian civilian population in the form of food and shelter equipment through Jordan. Humanitarian aid for the civilian population in Gaza was also one of the topics Minister Fajon discussed with Jordanian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ayman Safadi during his recent visit to Ljubljana.