Senate debates

Thursday, 8 February 2024

Questions without Notice

United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East

3:03 pm

Photo of Penny WongPenny Wong (SA, Australian Labor Party, Minister for Foreign Affairs) Share this | Hansard source

I'll provide information about the October announcement. My recollection is that it was UN organisations, including UNICEF, and also the International Committee of the Red Cross, but I will confirm the detail of that with you.

Senator Chandler, I don't believe it is disputed, at the point where we are in Gaza, that the UNRWA is the only entity on the ground that is able to deliver aid and humanitarian relief at scale. The Israeli government officials with whom I spoke would accept that. It may be that people don't like the entity, and I appreciate that that is where you are coming from, but I don't think it is disputed that there is no other organisation that is capable of delivering assistance in that way. That is consistent with the discussions I had in Israel and consistent with the discussions I have had with officials of the UN and also the International Committee of the Red Cross. On that basis, I ask that further questions be placed on the Notice Paper.


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