State Dept. on How They'll Ensure Gaza Aid Isn't Stolen: We Need 'Every Lever' for Aid

During an interview with CBS on Wednesday, State Department Principal Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel responded to a question on what the U.S. is doing to ensure that the aid it is dropping into Gaza will get to the right people by stating that “every lever possible needs to be pulled when it comes to humanitarian aid. And that is what we are trying to do in close coordination with partners in the region.”

Host Anne-Marie Green asked, “I want to ask you about that humanitarian aid, of course, part of the reason it’s happening is because the U.S. and other countries have pulled support from UNRWA, the U.N. [agency] that had been providing most of the humanitarian aid in Gaza. As I understand it, these drops are very difficult, very dangerous, and I wonder what precautions are being taken to ensure that they are being given to people who are most in need, that the aid is going to the right people?”

Patel answered, “Our point of view, Anne-Marie, is that every lever possible needs to be pulled when it comes to humanitarian aid. And that is what we are trying to do in close coordination with partners in the region. And look, as it relates to UNRWA, there were…some very serious and credible allegations as it relates to employees of UNRWA that the United Nations and UNRWA itself are continuing to look into. But that being said, we know that they are critical partners as it relates to the provision of aid in the region, but they have an internal process that they need to work through. Of course, any kind of participation in terrorism and violence is certainly a nonstarter for us.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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