The Australian Federation of Islamic Councils (AFIC) welcomes the announcement of the Australian Federal Government of its decision to restore aid to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). This decision reflects the unique and essential role that UNRWA plays in providing vital assistance to Palestinian refugees.

 It is noted that this relief comes as Ramadan is upon the community.

‘The suspension of support to UNRWA should never have taken place, it was based on suspicious information that was not proven and only caused more pain to the people that are already suffering’ the President of AFIC, Dr Rateb Jneid said.

The destabilisation of UNRWA is part of a bigger campaign to remove any legal protections provided to Palestinians, such as UN General Assembly Resolution 194 , as the process to peace would require the UN participation.

To date, the international community has been impotent to stop the killings, with the claims of genocide being considered – but this decision is a welcome move. UNRWA has been a lifeline for millions of Palestinian refugees since its inception in 1949. The agency provides essential services such as education, healthcare, and social services to those in need. The restoration of aid will allow UNRWA to continue its important work and provide much-needed support to vulnerable communities.

AFIC believes that supporting UNRWA is not only a humanitarian imperative but also a crucial step towards achieving lasting peace in the Middle East. It is essential to achieve restoration rights for the Palestinians and for aiding those in need, we can help to alleviate suffering and promote stability in the region.

We commend the decision to restore aid to UNRWA and urge continued support for the agency and its vital work.

AFIC, established in 1964, stands as the Peak Muslim Organisation in Australia, with 170 members including 9 State and Territory Councils. It has a rich history of pioneering numerous community services and actively advocating for the rights and representation of the Muslim community.


Dr Rateb Jneid, President

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