Trump slashes funding from United Nations-Palestine fund, saves taxpayers hundreds of millions
The Trump administration announced Friday it is slashing all funding to a United Nations agency that provides aid to Palestinian refugees, calling the operation “irredeemably flawed.”
The move is part of a broader effort to reign in U.S. assistance for the Palestinian Authority amid increased attacks by Palestinian terrorists on Israel. Just last month, the U.S. revoked more than $200 million in taxpayer-funded aid to the Palestinian Authority over concerns the money was not being used properly, and the possibility it was being used to fund terrorism.
What are the details?
For years, the U.S. has been the biggest contributor to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, donating more than $350 million to the organization in 2017 alone.
In January, the U.S. contributed $60 million to the fund, but U.S. officials were clear at the time that “the United States was no longer willing to shoulder the very disproportionate share of the burden of UNRWA’s costs that we had assumed for many years,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said.
Despite other countries in the Middle East stepping up to assist Palestinian refugees, Nauert explained “the fundamental business model and fiscal practices that have marked UNRWA for years…is simply unsustainable and has been in crisis mode for many years.”
“The United States will no longer commit further funding to this irredeemably flawed operation,” she said.
UNRWA was established in 1949 in the wake of the Arab-Israeli war to deal with displaced and vulnerable Palestinian refugees. The organization has been a frequent critic of Israel, Fox News noted.
How did UNRWA respond?
Chris Gunness, a spokesman for the organization, condemned the move.
“We reject in the strongest possible terms the criticism that UNRWA’s schools, health centers, and emergency assistance programs are ‘irredeemably flawed,'” he said, according to CNN.