UNRWA official says partnership with US fully restored

Pierre Krähenbühl, UNRWA Commissioner-General launches the 2017 UNRWA emergency response to the oPt and Syria crises, Palais des Nations. 9 January 2017. Photo by Violaine Martin

Gaza, July 19 (IANS) The partnership between the US and the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) has been fully restored, a senior official said.

On Sunday, the UNRWA media advisor in Gaza, Adnan Abu Hasna, said the American financial aid to the Agency has reached $320 million this year, which is “close to the same level of financial aid as the US used to donate before former President Donald Trump”, reports Xinhua news agency.

The renewal of the financial aid to the Agency “is a sign of confidence and a message to the others that the partnership between UNRWA and the US is fully restored”, Abu Hasna added.

The Palestinian Authority severed all official relations with the White House and the State Department after Trump has declared Jerusalem the capital of Israel in December 2017.

In response, Trump in 2018 took a series of actions against the Palestinians, the most significant of which was stopping the US financial aid to the UNRWA, which reached $360 million per year.

The cut was about 30 per cent of UNRWA’s annual budget.

The UNRWA provides life-saving services to about 5.6 million Palestinian refugees in its five fields of operation that include Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip.

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