Oxfam Australia reaction to Australian Government’s reinstatement of funding to UNRWA

Humanitarian Advocacy, Media Releases article written on the 15 Mar 2024

Oxfam Australia welcomes the announcement that the Australian Government will reinstate critical funding for the United Nations Relief Works Agency (UNRWA).  

Oxfam Australia Chief Executive Lyn Morgain said the reinstatement was long overdue given the escalating crisis in Gaza.  

“While we welcome the decision to reinstate funding to UNRWA, it is long overdue. This critical, life-saving body is close to running out of the funds required to support millions of people in need of aid in Gaza, as the humanitarian situation worsens and the conflict continues. 

“While Oxfam is able to support some local partner organisations who are still managing – against all odds – to deliver some amounts of life-saving aid, it is impossible for agencies to provide the full-scale humanitarian response that is desperately needed. 

“One of the key provisions of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling was to ensure adequate humanitarian aid is provided in light of the risk of genocide in Gaza. Since the measure was imposed, the humanitarian situation has only gotten worse. We have seen many dozens of desperate people killed trying to access aid.  

“Airdrops as a method of aid delivery simply cannot support the humanitarian aid flow required to meet the massive needs in the enclave. Humanitarian aid must be allowed to flow, in safety, to those most in need. The Australian Government must uphold its obligations under the Genocide Convention by doing everything in its power to ensure the necessary volumes of aid can enter Gaza as swiftly as swiftly as possible – and that means by land. 

“The announcement of additional funding is welcome, and we look forward to seeing continued assistance to support the response to this devastating and deepening crisis. We also call on the government to push for an immediate and permanent ceasefire, and an end to the siege of Gaza. A permanent ceasefire is the single most important humanitarian response that Gaza needs now.” 

For interviews, contact Lucy Brown on 0478 190 099 / lucyb@oxfam.org.au