Dutch reserve €3 million for UNRWA in €13 million aid package

Graffiti in Amsterdam. Photo: Dutch News

The Dutch government is earmarking €3 million for the UN’s refugee agency UNRWA as part of a wider €13 million package of humanitarian aid for Gaza, aid minister Liesje Schreinemacher has told parliament.

The Netherlands said in April it would not resume funding for UNRWA, but did not rule out doing so in the future. The €3 million has been reserved but the agency must follow recommendations on ensuring it operates in a neutral manner, as agreed in April, Schreinemacher said.

The recommendations are made in a report by former French foreign minister Catherine Colonna.  She was appointed to look into the agency in February after Israel asserted at least 12 of its staffers had been involved in the Hamas attacks on Israel last October.

The cabinet agreed in January not to provide any more funding for UNRWA until there was clarity about the allegations. The decision was largely symbolic, given that 2024’s money had already been paid. 

Australia, Canada, Sweden and Japan have since restored their funding following the publication of the report, which says Israel has not provided proper evidence of its claims. 

The Netherlands has made €55 million available for humanitarian help in Gaza since the October 7 attacks on top of military support for the maritime corridor and air drops, the minister said.

UNRWA was budgeted to receive €19 million from the Dutch foreign ministry budget this year and this regular payment was made before the funding stop.

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