Japan donates $7 million to UNRWA

Government of Japan contributes additional $7 million to UN agency for “Palestinian refugees”.

Tags: Japan UNRWA
Elad Benari ,

UNRWA HQ in Gaza
UNRWA HQ in Gaza
Flash 90

The Government of Japan has contributed an additional $7 million to UNRWA, the UN agency for “Palestinian refugees”, the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) official news agency Wafa reported on Sunday.

The Japanese Ambassador to the PA, Takeshi Okubo, said, according to the report, “I’m very happy to share with you that the Government of Japan has decided to contribute 7 million US dollars to UNRWA for the project entitled ‘Emergency Grant Aid in response to the humanitarian crisis in Syria and Lebanon’ that is followed by the recent commitment of Japan to contribute $23 million to UNRWA from the supplementary budget of FY 2018.”

“We are determined more than ever to send a message to Palestine refugees through the assistance that ‘A friend in need is a friend indeed’. Japan will be there with you at a time when the region is experiencing serious humanitarian crisis. With this new assistance, the total value of Japanese assistance to the Palestinian people has already exceeded 1.9 billion US dollars since 1993,” he added.

UNRWA has been experiencing financial difficulties after the United States, the largest single contributor to UNRWA, announced in August of 2018 that it would end its $350 million a year funding for the agency, describing the organization as an “irredeemably flawed operation”.

That announcement followed a previous US announcement in January that it would cut some of its funding to UNRWA due to a need to undertake a fundamental re-examination of the organization, both in the way it operates and the way it is funded.

Since the US announced its funding cut, the organization has received pledges of $100 million in additional funding from countries such as Qatar, Canada, Switzerland, Turkey, New Zealand, Norway, Korea, Mexico, Slovakia, India and France as a means of making up for the aid that was cut by Washington.

The European Union recently announced it would commit a further 20 million euros ($23 million) to UNRWA.

And, in December of 2018, Saudi Arabia transferred $50 million for the agency.

Created in 1949, UNRWA supplies aid to more than three million of the five million people who are registered as “Palestinian refugees” in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and territories assigned to the Palestinian Authority.

However, it is also notorious for its anti-Israel activities. During the 2014 counterterrorism Operation Protective Edge, Hamas rockets were discovered inside a school building run by UNRWA.

Likewise, a booby-trapped UNRWA clinic was detonated, killing three IDF soldiers. Aside from the massive amounts of explosives hidden in the walls of the clinic, it was revealed that it stood on top of dozens of terror tunnels, showing how UNRWA is closely embedded with Hamas.

Last December, the Geneva-based watchdog UN Watch revealed that UNRWA posted a tweet glorifying a Palestinian Arab terrorist, before deleting it and blaming alleged "brief, unauthorized access" to its Twitter account.