Like many fellow residents of a Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon, Shady Choucair despaired when he heard last week that countries had halted their funding to the U.N. agency for Palestinians (UNRWA).

"It's a disaster. We were able to survive off the help we got from UNRWA," he said in his small grocery store in the Mar Elias refugee camp in Beirut, where he has lived with his family for over a decade.

More than a dozen donor nations including the United States, Germany and Britain have paused their funding to the aid agency following allegations by the Israeli government that 12 of UNRWA's 13,000 Gaza employees were involved in the deadly Oct. 7 attacks by Hamas gunmen in southern Israel.