Norwegian group urges US to reconsider decision to withhold funds for UNRWA

The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) Tuesday urged the United States to reconsider its decision to withhold aid to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).

NRC Secretary General Jan Egeland said in a statement the move will have devastating consequences for vulnerable Palestinian refugees across the Middle East.

The US decided on Tuesday to withhold $65 million in funding for UNRWA, which represents over half the initial payment of $125 million that would normally have been provided to UNRWA at the beginning of the year.

“The move will have devastating consequences for vulnerable Palestinian refugees across the Middle East, including hundreds of thousands of refugee children in the West Bank and Gaza, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria who depend on the agency for their education,” said Egeland in a statement.

“It will also deny their parents a social safety net that helps them to survive, and undermine the UN agency’s ability to respond in the event of another flare up in the conflict.”

Egeland expressed hope that “the US administration and Congress can cooperate in reversing this politically motivated cut in aid before its effects ripple through the Middle East.”

He called on other donor nations to stand with UNRWA and Palestinian refugees and cover “the massive shortfall left by the US administration.”

Source: Palestinian News & Info Agency