The Trump administration has announced it will cut all US funding for the main UN
programme for Palestinian refugees, a move with potentially devastating impacts for five
million people who rely on its schools, healthcare, and social services.
“The United States will no longer commit further funding to this irredeemably flawed operation,” the US State Department said in a statement, adding it was not willing to
“shoulder the very disproportionate share of the burden” for the UN Relief and Works
The agency not only serves Palestinians in the occupied territories but also in Jordan,
Syria and Lebanon. European and Arab countries have pledged to protect the agency
and Germany promised a significant increase in financial backing.
Cutting UNRWA funding has been widely interpreted in both Israel and Palestine as a
a blunt move by the US to unilaterally sweep aside one of the main sticking points in
peace negotiations – the right of return of Palestinians. By slashing its budget,
Palestinians fear Washington is attempting to delegitimize the refugee status of them
and their descendants.
Extract from The Guardian, 7 Sept. 2018