Federal Foreign Office and Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development on UNRWA

24.04.2024 - Press release

Joint statement on UNRWA by the Federal Foreign Office and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (24 April)

We are pleased that the Independent Review Group set up by the United Nations and headed by former French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna has now presented its report. UNRWA has stated that it will implement the recommendations in the report swiftly and comprehensively. In doing so, UNRWA will be building on measures already taken as a result of the allegations made by Israel.

The German Government has engaged in-depth with the allegations made by Israel against UNRWA, liaising closely with the Israeli Government, the United Nations and other international donors.

The recommendations in the Colonna report must now be implemented without delay. Particularly important are the strengthening of UNRWA’s internal oversight – including through the secondment of international UN staff to this area – as well as improved external monitoring of project management, the ongoing regular sharing of UNRWA staff lists with the Israeli security authorities, and expanded internal training. The German Government expressly welcomes the important new role that Sigrid Kaag has taken on as the leading UN humanitarian coordinator for Gaza, and will do everything in its power to support her work.

Against this backdrop and in parallel with these reforms, the German Government will shortly resume its cooperation with UNRWA in Gaza, as countries including Australia, Canada, Sweden and Japan have already done. Germany will liaise closely with its key international partners on the disbursement of further funding. UNRWA’s short-term financing needs in Gaza are currently covered by existing funding.

By resuming our acute cooperation, we are supporting the vital and currently irreplaceable role played by UNRWA in meeting the basic needs of the people in Gaza – since other international aid organisations, too, currently rely on UNRWA’s operative structures there. The G7 reiterated on 19 April that UNRWA and other UN organisations must be in a position to completely fulfil their mandate to distribute humanitarian assistance in Gaza. In light of the ongoing humanitarian disaster in Gaza, this is more important than ever.


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