Japan’s FM Says Reviewing Decision to Suspend UNRWA Funding

Japan’s FM Says Reviewing Decision to Suspend UNRWA Funding

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Tokyo is reviewing its decision to suspend funding to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), the Japanese foreign minister said.

"You mentioned several countries already starting refunding of UNRWA, and I understand that each country has their own situation and considerations,” Yoko Kamikawa told reporters at UN headquarters in New York on Monday.

“Japan is also discussing and reviewing our response to the situation with a great sense of urgency," she added, Anadolu Agency reported.

Israeli authorities have accused some of UNRWA’s employees in Gaza of taking part in the Palestinian resistance forces’ Oct. 7 attack on occupied Palestinian territories. Several countries have suspended funding for the agency, which was established in 1949 to help Palestinian refugees across the Middle East. The agency said it terminated contracts with the employees following the allegations.

Kamikawa said that Japan has a "deep understanding" of what is going on in the Gaza Strip.

"Japan has halted its funding for UNRWA tentatively. However, we are providing aid materials including food, pharmaceutical medicines and other life's necessities through other international organizations so that those items will reach the hands of the people in Gaza," she said, adding Japan's $32 million in humanitarian aid is waiting in the queue to reach the people in Gaza.

On the restart of funding to UNRWA, Kamikawa said Japan has been engaged in close communication with the UN, UNRWA and other relevant countries through "various channels."

"We are exchanging our views and opinions, and at the same time, the UN is conducting its investigation together with a third party, and the verification process in progress," she said, adding Japan is waiting for an interim report on the discoveries.

"It is our hope that the situation in Gaza will improve as soon as possible, and we would like to respond to this humanitarian crisis with a great sense of speed," she added.

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