Middle East

Blinken stresses importance of UN humanitarian work in Gaza but calls for allegations to be addressed

From CNN staff

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stressed the importance of the United Nations’ humanitarian work inside Gaza, saying it is “absolutely vital,” while also calling again for allegations made against UN staffers in the enclave to be addressed.

In remarks alongside UN Senior Humanitarian and Reconstruction Coordinator for Gaza Sigrid Kaag in Washington, Blinken noted that “her mission now could not be more vital.”

“We strongly and fully support it. We’ll be working very closely with Sigrid, with Israel, with Egypt, with other concerned parties to in the first instance maximize the assistance getting in, but not only getting into Gaza, getting to people who need it within Gaza, including in the north,” he said ahead of their meeting at the State Department Wednesday.

Blinken said that the UN must “work through the terrible allegations” made against its aid agency, the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).

The US has suspended approximately $300,000 in aid to UNRWA as the agency investigates Israeli allegations that 13 of its personnel were involved in the October 7 Hamas attacks. The US is among a growing list of countries that have suspended some or all funding to the agency.

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