US Withholds $65 Million From UN's Palestinian Refugee Agency, Calls for Changes
19 January, 2018, 01:59 | Author: Yolanda Murray
The United States is withholding more than half of its planned funding of a United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees, renewing debate over the Trump administration's controversial decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Instead she said that the Trump Administration would like to see the agency enact reforms.
"The move will have devastating consequences for vulnerable Palestinian refugees across the Middle East, including hundreds of thousands of refugee children in the West Bank and Gaza, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria who depend on the agency for their education", said Egeland, a former Norwegian foreign minister and former United Nations undersecretary general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator. "We pay the Palestinians HUNDRED OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS a year and get no appreciation or respect", said the head of state.
The decision to keep back some money is likely to compound the difficulty of reviving Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and to further undermine Arabs' faith that the U.S. can act as an impartial arbitrator. The administration also made clear that future donations from the USA would be contingent on major reforms that will be implemented by the UNRWA.
"With the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make any of these massive future payments to them", the tweet continued.
The U.S. provides 30 percent of UNRWA's annual budget.
When asked if the decision to cut the UNRWA funding was related to Trump's January 2 threat to end the aid, which he broadcasted via Twitter, Nauert refused to comment.
"This is not aimed at punishing anyone", Nauert said Tuesday, as she outlined the USA decision to release $60 million in funding for the agency, while indefinitely withholding another $65 million.
Brussels steps up with multi-year funding of Palestinian aid agency after USA cuts UNRWA funding by half.
"UNRWA has proven time and again to be an agency that misuses the humanitarian aid of the worldwide community and instead supports anti-Israel propaganda, perpetuates the plight of Palestinian refugees and encourages hate", Danon said in a statement Tuesday.
Israel's United Nations envoy Danny Danon said the agency misuses aid and "supports anti-Israel propaganda, perpetuates the plight of Palestinian refugees and encourages hate".
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The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs said cuts to UNRWA will "hamper the efforts towards a two-state political solution and regional stability", adding that Ankara will increase its contributions to the agency. "We are delighted to contribute in solidarity if UNRWA takes steps to end the Palestine refugee problem".
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