UN Secretary-General António Guterres has called on countries suspending funding to UNRWA to reconsider their decisions to ensure the continuity of its humanitarian operations. The UN is responding to allegations that UNRWA personnel were involved in the 7 October terror attacks in southern Israel.
An investigation by the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) was immediately activated. Guterres stated that any UN employee involved in acts of terror will be held accountable, including through criminal prosecution. The UN is ready to cooperate with a competent authority to prosecute the individuals in line with its normal procedures.
Out of 12 individuals implicated, nine were identified and terminated by the UNRWA head, with one confirmed dead. Over two million civilians in the Gaza Strip rely on UNRWA’s lifesaving aid, which operates shelters for over one million people and provides food and healthcare since the conflict began.
However, the agency’s current funding is insufficient to meet all requirements in February. UNRWA’s head, José Guterres, has appealed to governments suspending contributions to guarantee the continuity of operations and to punish the tens of thousands of men and women who work for the agency, many in dangerous situations. The urgent needs of the populations they serve must be met.