Japan to resume funding to UNRWA, following Sweden, Finland and Canada | Israel’s War on Gaza News

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The move comes after a meeting between Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa and UNRWA chief Philippe Lazzarini.

Japan plans to resume funding to the United Nations aid agency for Palestinian refugees after it suspended aid over what Israel says were some of its staff involved in the October 7 Hamas protests.

Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa met with UNRWA chief Philippe Lazzarini in Tokyo on Thursday to discuss ways the agency can improve transparency and accountability, including ensuring financial stability and the neutrality of staff.

“Japan and UNRWA have confirmed that they will advance the final agreement on the necessary efforts to resume Japan’s assistance,” Japan’s foreign ministry said.

Tokyo’s move follows similar withdrawals from the European Commission, Canada, Australia, Sweden and Finland in recent weeks.

Lazzarini told Swiss news agency Keystone-ATS on Tuesday that UNRWA had received funding until the end of May after previously warning that the agency could be forced to suspend operations in March.

More than a dozen countries suspended funding to UNRWA in January after Israeli officials said 12 of its staff were involved in Hamas attacks in southern Israel.

Israeli officials later said that more than 450 UNRWA workers are “soldiers in terrorist groups in Gaza.”

The UN, which is investigating the allegations, said Israel had not provided evidence to support the allegations.

Founded in 1949, UNRWA provides food, health care and education to 5.9 million Palestinian refugees.

The organization has pledged $1.2bn in 2022, with the largest contributions coming from the United States, Germany and the European Union.

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