UN gets $100M in new funds for Palestinian aid after US cuts

Cheryl Sanders
March 16, 2018

He said Jordan, Egypt and Sweden worked with UNRWA and the European Union and in coordination with many countries to hold this conference, a call for effective action that leads to securing what UNRWA needs to continue providing its services.

The United Nations has said that a donor conference has produced almost $100 million in new pledges to fund the UN relief agency for Palestinian refugees this year after Washington slashed its aid.

The administration of US President Donald Trump has so far committed only $60 million to the agency this year, down from $360 million in 2017.


Agency spokesman Christopher Gunness said the actual cut was around $300 million because the US had led the agency to believe it would provide $365 million in 2018.

The US had been UNWRA's largest donor, supplying almost 30 percent of its budget. In announcing the cuts in January, the U.S. State Department said it wanted reforms at the agency, which Israel has strongly criticized. But the agency said the actual cut was around $300 million because the US had led the agency to believe it would provide $365 million in 2018.

The Prime Minister thanked countries and organizations that have provided extra funding for the agency starting from the beginning of this year, which he said has spared UNRWA of an unexpected interruption of services to the Palestinian refugees. The government says this will help meet "urgent humanitarian needs" by providing food assistance to over one million people living in the West Bank and Gaza and other essential humanitarian assistance.


"It is vital and it is necessary to address these very basic services, but also to provide dignity for multitudes of Palestinians and to (protect) many of them from the potential threats of radicalization and terrorism", he told reporters.

The agency's commissioner-general, Pierre Krahenbehl, said in a Twitter post "Palestine Refugees deserve recognition of their rights & stable delivery of UNRWA services".

He pointed out continuing the support for UNRWA is a political message that the world still cares about suffering of the Palestinian refugees, in which 5th, next May marks seventy years of their suffering and injustice.


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