Over the past month, reports have circulated that members of the US ​ House Middle East Subcommittee raised concerns that humanitarian aid is not reaching the Palestinian population, especially in Gaza.

In response, the Center for Near East Policy Research, CFNEPR, contacted 44 donor nations ​which contribute humanitarian aid to the Palestinian population in Gaza through UNRWA to determine if any had cut back on its donations. With the exception of the US, which has cut back on 20% of its donations, every single donor nation responded emphatically that they are not cutting back one penny from aid to UNRWA.

After tabulating the responses from the diplomatic community, CFNEPR calculates that the 1.2 billion dollar UNRWA budget flows from the donors to the five million people who benefit from UNRWA health, education and welfare programs – in Gaza, Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria.

Follow this link for the breakdown of donor funds to UNRWA this past year:


However, despite rea​ssurances of ​continued cash flow, UNRWA ​still proclaims ​to the media ​that it is bereft of resources to provide basic services. UNRWA Media Adviser Adnan Abu Hasna declared that UNRWA lacks basic food products and that the people of Gaza “have nothing to lose,” adding that “we don’t know yet whether school will open in the coming year…We’re talking about 300,000 students who need to go to school.” (see link1 below)

Why , then, does UNRWA claim that it is does not have funds for humanitarian needs?

The answer may lie with Hamas, the terror group now taking credit for bombing civilian communities, which has controlled the workers association and teachers association of UNRWA in Gaza since 1999.

On July 14 Hamas launched a MASSIVE ​military ​training program for ​​UNRWA students. (see link 2)

Venue of the Hamas military training program for UNRWA students is along the Gaza border fence with Israel, placing UNRWA pupils in harm’s way, in violation of treaties that protect the rights of the child.

In the 2015 film, Children’s Army of Hamas (see link 3), a Hamas cabinet member praised cooperation with UNRWA​ in the 2015 military training program for Hamas​, which can be seen at 5:40

Military training for UNRWA students will last until the start of the school year at the end of August, which will include 120,000 children from the UNRWA schools.


  1. Will you verify if humanitarian funds for UNRWA were diverted to arms training for UNRWA students?
  2. Will you ask if it is appropriate for a UN agency to allow Hamas on the payroll?
  3. Will you ask if it is appropriate for a UN agency to hold paramilitary exercises in coordination with a terrorist organization?


Sheldon Rich
Research Associate
​​Center for Near East Policy Research​

​ ​
cc David Bedein
Israel Resource News Agency
​​Center for Near East Policy Research

(1) https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5310037,00.html

(2) ​https://www.terrorism-info. org.il/en/hamas-announced- opening-summer-camps-children- adolescents-gaza-strip-year- summer-camps-inspired-return- marches-include-military- training-every/​

(3) https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=iO4UKXmr8zk