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China Supports UNRWA, Urges Donors To Maintain Funding

China Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesman Wang Wenbin responded to a question today on a statement by the Inter-Agency Standing Committee on the decision by some nations to suspend funding to UNRWA. That group asked the world “not to abandon the people of Gaza.”

Wang explained: “As the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict drags on into the fourth month, Gaza faces unprecedented humanitarian disaster. Under the current circumstances, there’s no other choice than a ceasefire … and there’s no other task that is more pressing than protecting civilians. The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) has made important effort in easing the humanitarian situation in Gaza, playing an indispensable and irreplaceable role. Data shows that two-thirds of the over 2 million people in Gaza received assistance from UNRWA.” [emphasis added]

Regarding accusations of UNRWA staff member involvement in the Hamas attack of Oct. 7, Wang said, “We support the UN in conducting an independent, just and objective investigation. That said, collective punishment against the people in Gaza should be avoided. We call on the international community, especially major donors, to prioritize the lives of the people in Gaza, reconsider the decision to suspend funding, and continue to support the work of UNRWA…. We must not allow more collective punishment against the people in Gaza}.” [emphasis added]