House Democrats request transparency for Palestinian aid funds

PNN/ Bethlehem/

Nine House Democrats wrote a letter on Wednesday to United States’ president Donald Trump, requesting him to update as to the current status of the U.S. funding towards Palestinian Authority (PA).

In spite being the largest single donor to UN Relief and Works Agency, in January 2018, United States withheld $65 million from the UNRWA as they were “examining” the use of money, responding to the refusal of Mahmoud Abbas’ meeting with US officials after the controversy regarding Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

On 23 March 2018, the United States passed the “Taylor Force Act” that fully cuts off funds for the PA unless the Authority ceases to pay stipends for the families of Palestinian prisoners and revokes laws authorizing this compensation.

The USAID office in West Bank and Gaza that is an American international agency has not received budget for the following year, thus had to put a halt to its projects.

According to the letter, the impact of the funding freeze could lead to catastrophic consequences, “140,000 people will cease to receive emergency food and non-food assistance, 42,000 patients will not receive essential health services, 50,000 youths will lack access to life skills development, and 12,250 people will lose paid entrepreneurship opportunities.”

“We believe these crucial humanitarian funds must be restored in order to save innocent lives.”

This letter was signed by Ted Deutch, Gerald Connolly, David Cicilline, Lois Frankel, Tulsi Gabbard, Brendan Boyle, Ted Lieu, Bradley Schneider, Thomas Suozzi.