Labor’s UNRWA funding pledge ignores concerns

Labor’s announced commitment of $20 million in additional funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) specifically ignores the concerns that have been ventilated over funding to that body.

At the last round of Senate Estimates, DFAT officials confirmed that UNRWA-funded textbooks in the Palestinian Territories contain “controversial” content and that the Australian Government, along with the UK Government, are conducting a review of the issue.

“Given the very clear evidence that has been provided that there are concerns over the money Australia is already providing UNRWA, it is troubling that Labor would pledge even more money without waiting to see the outcome of any review,” Senator Abetz said.

“It is vital that Australian Aid is not being spent on controversial content that calls for the murder of innocent civilians – something that should not be a controversial notion. If Labor were serious about ensuring genuine transparency, they would ensure this funding pledge is contingent on the current Australia-UK investigation clearing UNRWA.”

“The fact that Labor is willing to turn a blind eye to this kind of conduct with Australian taxpayers’ money and, to date, has not uttered a word about the ongoing investigation into APHEDA’s potential channelling of money to Hamas terrorists, gives a troubling insight into what little oversight a Labor Government would have of aid spending,” Senator Abetz concluded.

About Eric

Eric Abetz has been a Liberal Senator for Tasmania since 1994 and has served in a range of Leadership, Ministerial and Shadow Ministerial roles.

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