PNN/ Ramallah /
The United States government has informed the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) of its intention to initially contribute just $60 million of the planned first installment of $125 million for 2018. That means the United States withheld $65 million from that installment, calling into question the remaining U.S. contribution, which reached approximately $350 million in 2017.
It is important to note that the U.S. contribution to UNRWA represents neither support nor assistance to the Palestinian National Authority, to the Palestinian people in general or the development of the Palestinian economy. It is to an agency of the United Nations that is responsible for supporting and alleviating the plight and suffering of Palestine refugees, particularly in the fields of education and health care. 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).
A statement by the Palestine National Liberation movement (Fatah) in a press release said that this U.S. action will restrict the work of UNRWA and threaten severe deprivation putting Palestinian refugees at even more serious risk.
In light of the importance of UNRWA’s work and the consequences of the U.S. step, Fatah Movement in its statement said:
“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 international community and UN member states.
– UN resolutions, particularly resolution 194, affirm that the basic requirement for Palestinian refugees is to achieve their rights, which the international community has not effected for various reasons, including U.S. positions. It is even more appalling and cruel to also cut assistance funding for Palestine refugees.
– We hope that this U.S. 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. We also hope that this decision is not part of an American political framework to impose positions on the Palestinians, which will never work.
Fatah Movement reaffirms the vital need for UNRWA to continue to achieve its mission to support Palestinian refugees and to make every effort to achieve their right of return, to the restitution of their property, especially their individually owned lands, and compensation, which could lead to the achievement of peace in the Middle East.