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Parliamentary questions
PDF 43kWORD 19k
1 August 2019
Question for written answer E-002508-19
to the Commission
Rule 138
Guido Reil (ID)

 Subject:  Financial support to UNRWA

UNRWA, the so-called Agency for Palestine Refugees, has 30 000 employees working to meet the needs of some 5.2 million pseudo-refugees.

In February 2017, UN Watch presented a report that documented in detail callous statements made by UNRWA staff(1).

Between 2010 and 2016, the EU and the Member States met 42% of the Agency’s total budget, and contributed a total of EUR 1.5 billion in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

Following the decision of the United States to withdraw its aid, the EU and several Member States decided to provide additional support(2). In the summer of 2018, Germany announced it would increase its aid ‘substantially’, and in late June 2019, the Commission pledged an additional EUR 21 million(3).

A confidential UN investigation report, published late July 2019, listed the following examples of misconduct: ‘inappropriate sexual conduct, cronyism, reprisals, discrimination and other abuses, perpetrated for personal enrichment and to suppress dissenting opinions’. In response, the Swiss Government terminated its payments to UNRWA(4).

What conclusions does the Commission draw from the UN investigation report and the decisions taken by the United States and Switzerland?

What financial instruments are used to transfer these vast sums?

How is the use of these funds monitored and their effectiveness assessed?

(1)UN Watch, Poisoning Palestinian children — A report on UNRWA teachers, February 2017; Antje Schippman, ‘UN teachers praise Hitler, stirring up hatred against Jews. In 2016 the German Government financed UNRWA to the tune of EUR 76 million’, Bild, 2 February 2017.
(2)Bernd Riegert, ‘EU wants to continue financing Palestinians’, Deutsche Welle, 17 January 2018.
(3)European Commission, ‘EU mobilises EUR 21 million to support Palestine refugees via the UN Relief and Works Agency’, press release, 28 June 2019.
(4)Fabian Schäfer, Michael Surber, ‘Serious allegations against the leadership of the UN Agency for Palestine Refugees — Switzerland suspends payments’, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 30 July 2019.

Original language of question: DE 
Last updated: 29 August 2019Legal notice