The US government is still allocating funds for the UN aid organisation for Palestinian refugees UNRWA. It was founded in 1949 for Palestinians who fled their homes, villages and cities in the years before because of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Nearly 6 million Palestinians depend on aid.
“ The US is pleased to announce that we can resume economic and humanitarian and development aid to the Palestinians,” said Foreign Minister Blinken. The US Government is committed to nearly EUR 200 million. EUR 126 million goes to UNRWA, EUR 63 million to economic aid and development aid and EUR 8.5 million to projects designed to promote peace.
The decision does not come unexpectedly. During his election campaign, Biden had already said that he would reverse some of his predecessor Trump‘s decisions.
Stripe through help
President Trump stopped almost all aid to the Palestinians in 2018. This was explained as an attempt to force the Palestinian leaders to the negotiating table. The Palestinians were furious because Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and had the US Embassy moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The Palestinians therefore refused to cooperate in Trump’s efforts to resolve the conflict with Israel.
Trump then withdrew the financial contribution to UNRWA. At that time, it amounted to almost 310 million euros per year.
The Palestinian Authority, which has a form of self-government in parts of the West Bank, welcomes the decision of the Biden Government and speaks of ‘very important support’ which I hope will continue.
The UN also welcomes the decision. “A number of countries have drastically reduced the contribution to UNRWA. We hope that the American decision will also encourage other countries to participate again.”
The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs responds less enthusiastically. UNRWA maintains the conflict rather than cooperating in a solution, said a spokesman.