Senator Eric Abetz – Estimates question about aid to Palestinian Territories

photo of Senator Eric Abetz
October 24, 2019

Questioned whether Australia continues to provide aid funding to UNRWA.

I’m wondering what our situation is. Are we continuing to provide funds to UNRWA?

Whole interaction with Dr Ralph King (Acting First Assistant Secretary, Middle East and Africa Division, DFAT) during Senate Estimates (Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee, Foreign Affairs and Trade Portfolio).

CHAIR: There are a lot of questions on overseas aid and development for the Palestinian territories, which is a matter of genuine concern. I understand a number of countries have stopped their aid, including, if I recall correctly, Switzerland and the Netherlands. I’m wondering what our situation is. Are we continuing to provide funds to UNRWA?


Dr King : I answered briefly Senator Faruqi on this matter before. It is a good question. We have a four-year program for $80 million which expires next year. We’ve expended $76 million of that, and $4 million is outstanding. That last $4 million, as per usual, is kept in reserves pending performance. Several countries suspended their aid after the report I talked about to Senator Faruqi. We’re waiting for the outcome of that report.

Link to full Hansard transcript.

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