US Is Said to Withhold Added $45 Million in Palestinian Aid

US Is Said to Withhold Added $45 Million in Palestinian Aid

US Is Said to Withhold Added $45 Million in Palestinian Aid

The U.N. agency that serves Palestinian refugees and their descendants said Wednesday it would launch a global fundraising appeal in hopes of making up for funding cuts announced by the United States. 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).

While saying the decision would sustain schools and health services, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert echoed Trump in calling on other nations to provide more money because he believes the u.s. pays more than its share.

In a letter dated December 17, State Department Comptroller Eric Hembree told the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, or UNRWA, that it would pay the money in response to a West Bank and Gaza Emergency Appeal "by or before early January 2018", said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing internal State Department matters.

Nauert said that a "potential second tranche" in 2018 was also being held. The administration also made clear that future donations from the USA would be contingent on major reforms that will be implemented by the UNRWA.

"Russia is not helping us at all with North Korea", Trump said during the interview.

Belgium, together with other European Union member states, is now UNRWA's largest donor.

"We believe that the methods of extortion and pressure of the U.S. Administration on the United Nations, especially with regard to programs that do not suit Israel and rightwing extremists, are unacceptable to the global community and UN member states. So we're asking other countries to do more".

"It's money that's being frozen at this time", she said.

"The decision to withhold more than half of a tranche of funding for an agency supporting Palestinian refugees is deplorable".

But the $60 million that was provided can't be used for any other goal.

"The reduced contribution also impacts regional security at a time when the Middle East faces multiple risks and threats, notably that of further radicalisation", he said.

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. They don't even want to negotiate a long overdue.

In a statement on behalf of the PLO executive committee, Hanan Ashrawi accused the White House of "following Netanyahu's instructions".

"The American administration reaffirms its complicity with the Israeli occupation and preempts the issues of a permanent solution by removing the refugee issue from the table and targeting innocent people, specifically this vulnerable segment of the Palestinian people", she added.

The agency has laid off dozens of staff members in the West Bank and East Jerusalem and more than 100 employees in Jordan because of the delay and subsequent cut in the USA payment, Haaretz reported on Monday.

Brussels steps up with multi-year funding of Palestinian aid agency after USA cuts UNRWA funding by half. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians either fled or were forced from their homes during the war that led to Israel's establishment in 1948. Palestinian refugees number some 7 million, of whom 5.2 million are registered with UNRWA.

They largely depend on UNRWA aid for healthcare, education and other essential services.

- United Nations resolutions, particularly resolution 194, affirm that the basic requirement for Palestinian refugees is to achieve their rights, which the worldwide community has not effected for various reasons, including USA positions.

"We hope that the United States administration and Congress can cooperate in reversing this politically motivated cut in aid before its effects ripple through the Middle East", NRC Secretary General Jan Egeland said in a statement. Trump and Haley have since threatened to cut off humanitarian assistance to the Palestinians unless the Palestinian Authority agrees to participate in US -brokered peace talks with Israel.

That came after the Palestinian Authority said President Trump's plan to move the USA embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem disqualifies America as an unbiased mediator for Mideast peace.

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