Spain Expected to Contribute Exceedingly to UNRWA

Spain Expected to Contribute Exceedingly to UNRWA

Spain’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, José Manuel Albares, who is a part of the country’s socialist government, has made an announcement during his recent visit to the United Nations. He stated that Spain has decided to make an additional donation to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). This contribution is an addition to the US$3.7 million that the country had previously announced at the beginning of the month.

Albares attended a meeting of the UN General Assembly this Friday, which took place at its headquarters in New York, USA. The meeting was organized to commemorate the second anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. During this meeting, Albares had the opportunity to meet with the main authorities of the organization and express his support, which he later shared with the press.

During a press conference, Albares stated that he had a meeting with the secretary-general of the United Nations (UN), António Guterres, and also with Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo. During the meeting, he informed them about Spain’s additional contribution of US$3.7 million to UNRWA and hinted that there will be another additional contribution in the future, the amount of which is yet to be determined.

However, UNRWA is currently in a difficult situation. The agency is facing severe criticism following accusations from Israel that 12 of its members were involved in the terrorist attacks carried out by Hamas on October 7 last year. This has led to the suspension of donations from numerous members, thereby threatening the agency’s sustainability.

The agency predicts that it will run out of funds by March because of the actions taken by approximately 20 countries, which includes the US. However, the European Commission has announced that it will continue to fund the agency throughout the investigation period into the accusations made by Israel.

Albares also mentioned that he had a conversation with Catherine Colonna, the former French foreign minister who is currently leading the independent panel investigating the complaints made by Israel. The panel is expected to submit a preliminary report to Guterres in March 2024, while the final report will be made public in April.

When questioned about other issues related to the conflict in the Gaza Strip, particularly after Spain’s announcement of additional aid to UNRWA, Albares asserted that since the date of the Hamas terrorist attacks on October 7, 2023, no export licenses or arms sales have been granted to Israel and there have been no new sales either.