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m3n4.net November 19, 2018


Jordan to lead fundraising for UN Palestinian agency after USA cuts

01 September 2018, 04:28 | Tara Lloyd

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The comments on Friday came shortly after the USA government, a major ally of Israel, announced that it was stopping its funding to the United Nations Relief Works and Agency (UNRWA) after determining the organisation to be an "irredeemably flawed operation".

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the business model and fiscal practices of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) were an "irredeemably flawed operation".

The organization uses the funds to run schools and clinics for Palestinian refugees in occupied territories - the West Bank and Gaza - as well as those in Jordan, Syria and Lebanon.

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The U.S. donated $355 million to the agency in 2016 and was set to make a similar contribution this year.

"By endorsing the most extreme Israeli narrative on all issues including the rights of more than five million Palestinian refugees, the United States administration has lost its status as peacemaker and is damaging not only an already volatile situation but the prospects for future peace", Mr Zomlot said in a statement. Trump vowed early on in his presidency that the US will no longer fund agencies and countries that do not support its interests.

The administration official told CNN the decision was made at a meeting between Jared Kushner, US President Donald Trump's son-in-law and a White House senior adviser, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, but that US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley had also been pushing for the move.

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Earlier on Friday, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Germany would increase its contributions to UNRWA because the funding crisis was fuelling uncertainty.

The Palestinian Authority has refused all contact with Washington since US President Donald Trump announced late past year that he was unilaterally recognising Jerusalem - which is claimed by both Israel and the Palestinians - as the Israeli capital, making the US one of very few countries to do so. Most are descendants of individuals who fled Palestine in the 1948 war that led to the creation of the state of Israel.

Nauert said the United States would intensify talks with the United Nations, the region's governments and worldwide stakeholders that could involve bilateral USA assistance for Palestinian children.

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"The continuation of UNRWA means continued commitment by the global community to working towards a just solution of the refugees that guarantees the right of return and compensation", Safadi said.



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