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RIYADH: Saudi aid agency KSrelief announced on Wednesday it will donate $40 million to UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, to support its emergency appeal in the Gaza Strip.

The financial support memorandum was signed by Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, general supervisor of the center, and Philippe Lazzarini, UNRWA commissioner-general, via video call.

The agreement will help support food security for Palestinians in the besieged territory, where the Israel-Hamas war has raged for more than five months, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

“It is crucial to address the desperate needs of the people in Gaza,” said Al-Rabeeah.

Lazzarini said the donation “reflects the solidarity that the kingdom has always shown Palestinians.”

It aims to benefit 250,638 individuals most in need of aid, in addition to providing shelter and non-food materials, including tents, to 20,019 families, representing 200,190 individuals.

“This comes within the framework of the persistent efforts made by the Kingdom through the center to provide relief to the affected Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip in order to alleviate their suffering as a result of the current humanitarian crisis they are experiencing,” SPA said citing KSrelief.

Established in 1949, UNRWA provides education, social services and emergency relief to Palestinian refugees and is mostly funded by government donors, but it has come under heavy scrutiny after Israel accused some employees of being involved in Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on southern Israel.

Several nations have suspended their funding to the relief organization even though the UN said that Israel has not provided any evidence of the accusations.

UNRWA employs around 30,000 people in the occupied Palestinian territories — including 13,000 in Gaza — as well as neighboring Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.

Humanitarian aid efforts have intensified in recent weeks, including airdrops and the launching of a maritime humanitarian corridor from Cyprus, but the UN and other aid agencies warn that these are insufficient to meet the desperate needs in Gaza.

(With AFP)

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