July 31 (UPI) -- The Netherlands and Switzerland have suspended funding to the United Nations aid agency for Palestinian refugees days after an ethics report alleged widespread mismanagement and misconduct.
The 10-page confidential ethics report alleged that members of an "inner circle" at the top of the United Nations Relief Work Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East engaged in "abuse of authority for personal gain, to suppress legitimate dissent and to otherwise achieve their personal objectives," according to Al Jazeera, which was the first to report on the revelation Monday.
Netherland's Foreign Trade and Development Corporation Minister Sigrid Kaag said it would be suspending its $14.5 million in funding "until we have received a satisfactory response from the U.N. in New York," Holland's NOS broadcaster reported.
The minister said they have been in close contact with both the U.N. and the UNRWA and that "we have expressed our great concerns and asked for clarification."
Earlier, Switzerland said it would temporarily suspend all future funding until the U.N. completes its investigation. It had already donated about $20 million to the agency this year.
The United Nations said in a statement that the accusations in the report were being investigated by its New York oversight committee and that it would not comment on the ethics report until the probe is completed.
"Everything circulating now, including in the media, is 'allegations' and not findings," the statement by the agency's spokeswoman Tamara Alrifai said. "If the current investigation -- once it is completed -- were to present findings that require corrective measures or other management actions, we will not hesitate to take them."
The agency has been suffering since the United States in 2018 announced that it would no longer be giving the UNRWA funding, citing its unsustainable model to deal with the crisis. The United States historically gave the organization $360 million annually.
However, on Wednesday both China and Kuwait donated millions of dollars to the embattled foundation.
"The government of China supported UNRWA's work for many years," China's Ambassador to Palestine Guo Wei said. "This year, with regard to the financial difficulty UNRWA faces, China continues to support UNRWA and its work."