UNRWA staff stealing and selling humanitarian aid, Gazans report

  • by:
  • Source: UN Watch
  • 05/09/2024
red and white x logo by Claudio Schwarz is licensed under unsplash.com

GENEVA, 8 May 2024 — UNRWA staff are stealing aid and selling it for profit, while those who report it face reprisals, according to numerous reports published by Palestinians in an UNRWA-related chatroom.

The posts expose a deep frustration by employees that senior UNRWA employees are engaged in the abuses, and that the agency is doing nothing about it. This comes amid a recent call by UNRWA Commissioner-General Phillipe Lazzarini for countries to increase direct cash assistance to Gazans because, although “there is more food available… it still does not mean that the food is accessible.”

The chatroom is run by a former UNRWA employee, Haitham al-Sayyed, who was removed from UNRWA in 2016 after he publicly called out the agency for hiding an UNRWA school map that denied the existence of Israel, covered up with a white cloth to hide it from the cameras while UN chief Ban Ki-moon was holding a press conference in June 2016.

In the 17 years he worked for UNRWA, al-Sayyed created several chat rooms for staff and educators to share posts, many of which feature antisemitism, incitement to hatred and Jihadi terrorism.

Sign Up For Our Newsletter