The Spanish foreign minister has announced that Spain will maintain its support for The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) in Gaza despite USA, Canada and Australia withdrawing its support and funding, reports Alyssa Mcmurty News Agency.


During a parliamentary commission meeting, Jose Manuel Albares called the UN agency “‘indispensable,” and said the funding helps “alleviate the terrible humanitarian situation in Gaza.”


His announcement comes after a growing number of Western nations are freezing funding for the agency amid an internal investigation about some employees’ roles in the Oct. 7 attack on Israel after allegations were made by Israel.

RELATED STORIES


Around a dozen nations, including the United States, Canada, the UK, Germany, France, Japan Australia, and Austria, have suspended funding. Meanwhile, a minority of Western nations like Ireland, Norway, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Belgium, Kuwait, and Qatar have spoken out against the funding cuts.


On Monday, Spain’s foreign minister said Spain will be following the agency’s internal investigation closely, but highlighted the inquiry is looking at the acts of “around a dozen people out of UNRWA’s 30,000 workers.”


On Sunday, the UN agency released a statement saying its “life-saving aid may end” due to the funding freezes, adding that as the primary aid agency in Gaza, it runs shelters for over 1 million people and provides food and healthcare.


UN Special Rapporteur Francesca Albanese has said that governments suspending funds to the UN’s agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) represents “double standards” when they continue to support Israel, whose actions “plausibly constitute” genocide.

We are shocked by the reckless decision to cut a lifeline for an entire population by some of the very countries that had called for aid in Gaza to be stepped up and for humanitarians to be protected while doing their job,” the 21 NGOs said in a statement.


Spain’s junior coalition party Sumar posted on X that the decision to cut aid is “an attack against humanity” and “collective punishment.” It added that it will pressure the Spanish government to boost funding for the organization.


Meanwhile, Albares added that Spain has tripled its funding to Palestine in recent months to around €50 million ($54 million), which includes funding for UNWRA.


The Spanish foreign minister also told politicians that Spain supports Friday’s ruling of the top UN court which calls on Israel to prevent genocide. “We urge the integral compliance with this sentence by all parties. We request an urgent cease-fire and the entrance of humanitarian aid,” he added.


Albares warned that the violence in Israel and Palestine could spill over to neighboring nations, which could have “devastating effects for those countries, and the entire Mediterranean region, which, of course, includes Spain.”


The Spanish government continues pushing for an international peace conference, which would, in effect, see the entire international community recognizing a “viable” Palestinian state. Albares said that 88 nations now back the idea.


“We will not resign ourselves to watching more innocent women, men, and children killed in Gaza and more suffering of Palestinian families,” he said. “We will not resign ourselves to keep watching the suffering of the families of hostages. The violence must stop.”