Australia suspended funding to the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), the largest humanitarian organisation in Gaza, days after the International Court of Justice ruled that the survival of Palestinians in Gaza is at risk.

This inhumane decision will deal a devastating blow to more than two million refugees in the occupied Gaza Strip who depend on UNRWA for survival. The organisation offers indispensable humanitarian aid, education and shelter to the people of Gaza.

The people of Gaza have been cut off, and electricity for months while facing relentless bombardment. Today, they queue for food and water provided by UNRWA. They turn to shelter on UNRWA schools, that are 4 times their capacity. The injured seek care from UNRWA’s team of doctors, nurses, and midwives.

The decision was made following allegations that 12 UNRWA staff were involved in the 7 October attacks carried out by Hamas. These allegations are serious and must be independently investigated, and those responsible held accountable.

The people of Gaza should not suffer at a time of unparallelled need because of the alleged actions of 12 people in what could amount to collective punishment.

Norway, Spain, Ireland and Belgium have announced they will not suspend funding.

Australia must reverse their decision to suspend funding to UNRWA, and do everything they can to prevent genocide, including ensuring aid reaches the people of Gaza.

The ICJ ruling ordered Israel to take immediate and effective measures to ensure the provision of humanitarian assistance to Palestinian civilians in Gaza as a step to prevent genocide. Australia’s decision contradicts the ICJ’s ruling. Rather, the Austrlaian government should reinstate funding, and do everything it can to prevent genocide.

People power works! After tens of thousands of you emailed Foreign Minister Wong calling for the Australian government to support a ceasefire in 2023, the government supported a resolution at the United Nations. Together, we can ensure that the Australian government reverses their decision, and that the people of Gaza can receive humanitarian aid.

Email Foreign Minister Penny Wong and call on the Australian government to reverse the decision to suspend funding to UNRWA.