USA to end all funding to United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees

01 September, 2018, 04:25 | Author: Essie Rivera
  • Trump Admin Ending UN Aid To Palestinian Refugees

The United States on Friday halted all funding to a U.N. agency that helps Palestinian refugees in a decision further heightening tensions between the Palestinian leadership and the Trump administration.

"The United States will no longer commit further funding to this irredeemably flawed operation", she added.

Under U.S. President Donald Trump, Washington has only provided the agency with 60 million dollars this year, compared to 365 million dollars for humanitarian aid and projects in 2017.

The US, which roughly provided one-third of the UNRWA's budget, suspended $65 million of the $125 million in aid it planned to contribute to the program back in January.

Fears over funding have already led to warnings from UNRWA that it may have to permanently shut all the 711 schools that it runs after recent temporary closures.

Earlier this week, the USA announced it would cut more than $200 million in aid to Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.

"The United States will intensify dialogue with the United Nations, host governments, and global stakeholders about new models and new approaches", she said in the statement. We are very mindful of and deeply concerned regarding the impact upon innocent Palestinians, especially school children, of the failure of UNRWA and key members of the regional and worldwide donor community to reform and reset the UNRWA way of doing business.

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The newspaper reports that the administration disapproves of the way the UN Relief and Works Agency, or UNWRA, uses its funds and wants to reduce the number of Palestinians who claim refugee status.

"The administration has carefully reviewed the issue and determined that the United States will not make additional contributions to UNRWA", Nauert said.

Al Jazeera's Rob Reynolds, reporting from Washington, DC, said the United States decision was "likely to considerably worsen an already dire situation in parts of the Palestinian territories, especially in Gaza".

Israel and the United States have both accused UNRWA of perpetuating the Israel-Palestinian crisis by maintaining the idea of the right of return - that Palestinians will be able to return to the homes from which they fled. The United States has for always been the biggest individual donor to UNRWA, established by the UN General Assembly in 1949.

"This is part and parcel, together with the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, of an effort by the Trump administration to really affect some radical changes and try to re-set the table in the Middle East".

However, the agency is still suffering its worst funding crisis in its 68-year history, according to United Nations officials.

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