UNRWA USA resumes funding to the UN agency for Palestine refugees, providing $5 million in support for life-saving humanitarian relief in Gaza

08 April 2024

After careful consideration and in close consultation with legal counsel, UNRWA USA National Committee (UNRWA USA) is pleased to announce the resumption of its financial support and active fundraising for the vital mission of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), as it carries out its life-saving humanitarian mission. This financial support, starting with an immediate disbursement of US$ 5 million, will contribute directly to saving refugee lives, as a population of 2.2 million in Gaza faces a man-made famine.

As an American 501c3 nonprofit organization, UNRWA USA made the difficult decision in January 2024 to pause fundraising efforts and disbursements to UNRWA. This was done as a precautionary measure in the context of the Biden Administration’s decision to suspend its funding to UNRWA (see statement here) following serious Israeli allegations against 12 UNRWA staff members.

This decision to resume funding at this time is informed by, among other things, the actions of the European Union (EU), Canada, Australia, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Germany, France, and Japan, all of which have resumed their own funding for UNRWA in recent weeks. The decisions of these governments to resume funding were based on their own investigations and, in some cases, on the findings of the United Nations’ own internal investigation (which was shared with some UN member states). They also reflected the analysis—evident to the entire world—that the moral case for resuming funding for UNRWA is overwhelming. The stakes for Palestine refugees—and for humanity—could not be higher. Under any circumstances, undermining the indispensable work of UNRWA harms Palestine Refugees across all of the UN Agency’s five fields (Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem). Under current circumstances, with more than a million people in Gaza facing starvation, undermining UNRWA is already having deadly consequences.

UNRWA USA also notes that UNRWA has implemented further operational risk mitigation measures in conjunction with the EU’s decision to resume funding. As a longtime partner, UNRWA USA knows well that UNRWA is already one of the most rigorously vetted organizations globally and has enjoyed support from every US administration since the UN Agency’s inception in 1949 (including the Trump Administration, which supported UNRWA until 2018, when it suspended funding for reasons that notably did not include any allegations related to Hamas or terrorism). 

UNRWA USA also takes into consideration the fact that the Biden Administration has reportedly been actively urging other countries to resume funding and has continued to speak supportively of UNRWA in its public statements.

UNRWA USA is grateful for the understanding and patience of its supporters during this difficult period. Now, with this decision to resume funding to UNRWA, UNRWA USA calls on all donors, supporters, and advocates to double down on their efforts and support as we collectively return to our essential mission and primary objective: saving lives.


UNRWA USA National Committee (UNRWA USA) is an independent nonprofit organization that provides support for humanitarian assistance to Palestine refugees. UNRWA USA lifts up the voices, experiences, and humanity of Palestine refugees to secure American support for resources essential to every human being, for the promise of a better life. US taxpayers are eligible for tax deductions for donations made to UNRWA USA.

Background Information: 

UNRWA is the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East. The United Nations General Assembly established UNRWA in 1949 with a mandate to provide humanitarian assistance and protection to registered Palestine refugees in the Agency’s area of operations pending a just and lasting solution to their plight.

UNRWA operates in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, The Gaza Strip, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. 

Tens of thousands of Palestine refugees who lost their homes and livelihoods due to the 1948 conflict continue to be displaced and in need of support, nearly 75 years on.

UNRWA helps Palestine Refugees achieve their full potential in human development through quality services it provides in education, health care, relief and social services, protection, camp infrastructure and improvement, microfinance, and emergency assistance. UNRWA is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions.

Your support is crucial to help us provide emergency aid 
to displaced families in Gaza

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