After US aid cut, UNRWA launches funding campaign

Jerusalem : The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for Palestine refugees has announced that it has launched an international funding campaign after the United States cut aid to the agency.

The Anadolu Agency quoted the UNRWA, as saying in a statement, “Face serious difficulties in upholding its mandate and preserving key services such as education and health care for Palestine refugees with the dramatic reduction of the U.S. contribution for 2018.”

“Millions of Palestine refugees face a devastating humanitarian crisis,” the statement read.

UNRWA has also urged the people to use hashtags #DignityIsPriceless and #FundUNRWA to support the campaign.

Earlier on Thursday, the U.S. announced that it will not provide USD 45 million in emergency food aid for UNRWA for now.

The U.S. had pledged USD 45 million in emergency food aid to Palestinians as part of the UNRWA West Bank/Gaza Emergency Appeal last month.

Speaking at a press briefing, U.S. State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert said, “We made it clear that it was a pledge, it was not a guarantee, and that it would need to be confirmed later. At this time, we will not be providing that, but that does not mean – I want to make it clear – that does not mean that it will not be provided in the future”.

Recently, the State Department announced that it was withholding USD 65 million out of a USD 125 million aid package earmarked for the UNRWA.

United States President Donald Trump and his UN ambassador Nikki Haley threatened Palestine with cutting of financial funds to the Palestinians and the UNRWA to ensure that the Palestinians would return to the negotiating table with Israel.

In a strongly-worded tweet, Trump had written: “We pay the Palestinians HUNDRED OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS a year and get no appreciation or respect. They don’t even want to negotiate a long overdue peace treaty with Israel. We have taken Jerusalem, the toughest part of the negotiation, off the table, but Israel, for that, would have had to pay more. But with the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?” (ANI)