February 15, 2024
Increased funding welcome, but government must intensify efforts to save UNRWA – Matt Carthy TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Matt Carthy TD, has welcomed the government’s announcement of an additional allocation of €20 million to UNRWA in support of their work with Palestinian refugees. 

However, he said government must intensify efforts to resist the efforts of Israel to undermine and dismantle UNRWA, which he described as ‘the last lifeline to Palestine’.

Teachta Carthy was speaking after he and Sinn Féin Leader, Mary Lou McDonald, met with the Commissioner General of UNRWA, Phillippe Lazzarini this afternoon.  

Teachta Carthy said:

“UNRWA stands as the last lifeline to Palestine and particularly to Palestinians in Gaza.

“The announcement by government of an additional €20million Irish contribution to UNRWA is welcome and sometime that Sinn Féin has called for.  It was an important statement on behalf of the Irish people.

“UNWRA is under attack.  Israel is engaged in a propaganda campaign to undermine, and ultimately dismantle, this organisation. 

“Some 30,000 UNRWA employees provide vital services and assistance to Palestinian refugees in Jordan, Syria, the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza.  Today they are the organisation best positioned to alleviate the suffering of the Palestinian people of Gaza enduring a genocidal onslaught.

“There would be no need for UNRWA were it not for the crimes of Israel.  The actions of several states to suspend, cut or threaten funding to this vital organisation at the behest of Israel is shameful.

“There has been concerted attempts by Israel to undermine UNRWA – attempts that must be resisted.

“As the death toll approaches 30,000, with death, disease and famine rampant in the Gaza Strip, Ireland must use every measure of diplomatic influence at our disposal to push back against attempts to discredit UNRWA.

“The Irish government must work with all international partners to press for, not just the restoration of funds, but for increased funding for this important lifeline.”

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