INTERNATIONAL

Japan will start supporting the UN organisation for Palestinian refugees

Tokyo: Japan’s government said that it is getting ready to start providing cash again to the UNRWA, the crisis-hit Palestinian refugee organisation that oversees almost all relief to Gaza.
Japan, which was formerly the sixth-largest donor to UNRWA, stopped financing the organisation along with more than a dozen other nations after Israel said that twelve of UNRWA’s thirteen thousand Gaza staff members were complicit in the October 7 Hamas assault.

On Thursday, UNRWA Chief Philippe Lazzarini and Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa met in Tokyo to talk about the agency’s efforts to improve transparency and governance.
The foreign ministry released a statement saying, “Japan and the UNRWA confirmed that they will advance final coordination about necessary efforts to resume Japan’s contribution.”
According to rumours in the Japanese media, the financing, which had been halted in January, would likely resume in the first part of April.
The UN has warned of an approaching famine in Gaza, and UNRWA’s attempts to provide much-needed supplies have been jeopardised by the sudden suspension of financing.
Resuming help was announced this month by Australia, Canada, Sweden, and other countries.
The agency has enough money, according to Lazzarini’s statement on Tuesday, to continue running until at least the end of May.
The ministry said that Kamikawa “pointed out the importance of ensuring transparency and traceability of fund flows and the neutrality of UNRWA staff” on Thursday.
The UN has initiated an independent and internal inquiry, but it has said that Israel has not given it any proof to back up the allegations made against its employees.

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