China urges international community to continue supporting Palestinian refugee relief

2024-02-02 Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

On Thursday, China called on the international community, especially major donors, to reconsider the decision to halt funding and continue to support the work of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East.

Several countries including the United States suspended funding after Israel accused some agency staff of taking part in the October 7 attack by Hamas. The agency fired most of the suspected workers and launched an investigation.

"We must not deny all the work of the agency due to the moves by certain individuals, we must not allow more collective punishment against the Gaza people, and we must not sit idle and see the humanitarian situation in Gaza get worse," Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a daily news conference.

A joint statement issued by the World Health Organization, World Food Program, UNICEF, International Organization for Migration, and other agencies and partners appealed for these decisions to be reconsidered as pausing funds from UNRWA will have catastrophic consequences for the people of Gaza.

No other entity has the capacity to deliver the scale and breadth of assistance that 2.2 million people in Gaza urgently need, the joint statement said, as it was described as "the backbone of all humanitarian response in Gaza" by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

China supports the UN in carrying out an independent and objective investigation, Wang said, adding that the agency has made important efforts and plays an indispensable and irreplaceable role in easing the humanitarian situation in Gaza.

This round of the Palestine-Israel conflict has dragged into the fourth month, causing unprecedented humanitarian disaster, he said.

"There is no other option than ending hostilities that can de-escalate the crisis, and there is no task that is more pressing than protecting civilians," the spokesman said.

The normal and orderly operation of the UNRWA bears on the most basic need of Gaza people, the continuity of humanitarian work and the last string of hope for the desperate refugees to stay alive, he said.

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