Belgium to Donate $23 Million to UNRWA Following US Aid Cuts

MOHAMMED ABED

The US has announced that it will hold back more than half of the funding it provides for a United Nations agency that supports Palestinians, about two weeks after President Donald Trump threatened to pull funding for the group.

Ms. Anderson, who is from Derry, described the decision taken by the Trump administration as "deplorable" and predicted it would have a "devastating impact" on people living in Palestine. But the United States has yet to cut a check, leaving the U.N. agency responsible for Palestinian refugees in limbo, according to diplomatic sources. UNRWA delivers vital humanitarian and development assistance, effecting significant accomplishments for millions of refugees within its five fields of work (the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria).

Trump took to Twitter more than two weeks ago to criticize the USA aid to Palestinians.

"We pay the Palestinians HUNDRED OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS a year and get no appreciation or respect", Trump wrote.

Washington announced on Tuesday it would provide $60 million to the UNRWA while keeping back a further $65 million for now. The letter also makes clear that additional United States donations will be contingent on major changes by UNRWA, which has been heavily criticised by Israel.




"We would like to see some reforms be made", State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters on Tuesday.

In a Twitter post, Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, said the U.S. was "holding Palestinian kids' humanitarian needs hostage to political agendas".At the United Nations, Guterres told reporters that the services provided by UNRWA were "of extreme importance, not only for the well-being of these populations. but also in my opinion and an opinion that is shared by most worldwide observers, including some Israeli ones, it is an important factor of stability". Trump also added that "with the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?"

The U.S. provides 30 percent of UNRWA's annual budget. "This is not aimed at punishing anyone". "O$3 ur main point today is asking other countries to step up to the plate, not making the United States be the single largest donor or the sole donor, and other countries to step in and do more". Israel and the United States accuse UNRWA of perpetuating the Palestinian refugee problem instead of resolving it.

- We hope that this USA decision is not the beginning of complicit actions with the radical Israeli attempts to undermine the existence and hinder the work of UNRWA with its incessant attempts to camouflage the iniquity rather than find just solutions.

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