UNRWA urges Trump admin to restore funding as it stands at the frontline of Palestine’s COVID-19 crisis

Palestinians receive food aid from UNRWA at a warehouse in al-Shati refugee camp in Gaza City, Sept. 10, 2013. (Photo: Ashraf Amra/APA Images)
Palestinians receive food aid from UNRWA at a warehouse in Shati refugee camp in Gaza City, Sept. 10, 2013. (photo: Ashraf Amra / APA Images)
Cutting off funds to Palestine during a global pandemic would have devastating consequences.

By Michael Arria | Mondoweiss |  Mar 24, 2020

‘If we do not receive additional pledges or those who have pledged do not make good on existing pledges, then we will run out of money at the end of next month,’
— UNRWA’s acting- Commissioner General Christian Saunders

In 2018, the Trump administration cut all funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). Over five million people in the region rely on the organization for social services, but now their work has become even more crucial in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.

Mondoweiss’s Yumna Patel produced this video in September 2018 outlining the potentially devestating impacts of the cuts:


Last week, UNRWA Executive Director Mara Kronenfeld submitted testimony to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs, asking Congress to reverse the Trump administration’s 2018 decision. “We now find the Agency’s 144 health centers on the front lines of combating a global pandemic,” reads Kronenfield’s testimony, “Already, the Agency has called on donor states for an additional $14 million to address the crisis. UNRWA is seeking the additional funding to ensure that the appropriate preparedness and response measures are in place at UNRWA installations, in particular health and education facilities.”

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