Open letter to Foreign Minister Penny Wong

Open letter to Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong from Refugee Action Collective – Vic

Re: Urgent call to continue funding United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA)

Dear Minister Penny Wong,

The recent decision to suspend aid to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) is wrong and funding must be resumed as a priority.

We note the suspension is in relation to unproven accusations of the involvement by a small number of staff members in the October 7 attack by Hamas on Israel, an attack that UNRWA condemned.

This decision is both unjustified and will result in further needless suffering by the Palestinians in Gaza.

UNRWA employs approximately 30,000 people, 13,000 in Gaza alone. Why should the organisation and the people of Gaza be subjected to collective punishment because of the alleged actions of a handful of people?

UNRWA provides aid and service to millions of people, how is it expected to continue to support those who are suffering, starving and in desperate need of medical services if funding is cut?

While this decision may be popular in some quarters, it is times like this that Australia needs to show that it is there to support the vulnerable, the dispossessed and those living through a critical humanitarian crisis.

We urge you to immediately reverse the decision to suspend aid.


The Refugee Action Collective, Victoria