Trump’s ‘Anti-Palestinian’ Aid Cut: EU Set to Support UNRWA’s Work in Middle East

Written by | Monday, September 3rd, 2018

The European Union pledged to continue to support the United Nations Relief and Works Agency
(UNRWA) after the United States had cut its funding to the UN’s Palestinian refugee agency,
implying that it was ready to boost its own funding if necessary. Last week, the Trump
administration announced that it would cut its entire budget to UNRWA following weeks of
speculation on the subject. There are fears that the cut in the agency’s overall budget could
disrupt the work on the ground in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, Jordan and other countries of
the region.
“The EU is committed to secure the continuation and sustainability of the agency’s work which is
vital for stability and security in the region,” said the statement. Brussels called the US decision
“regrettable”. The official statement continues by saying that other than the EU’s member
states, “many others in the international community, including many Arab states, have pledged
their support to the continuity of the work that UNRWA is doing.” German Foreign Minister
Heiko Maas commented that the disruption in UNRWA’s work could “unleash an uncontrollable
chain reaction”. To prevent this scenario, the German government would increase its funding to
the agency.
Simon Coveney, Ireland’s deputy prime minister, called the decision of the White House
“heartless and dangerous”, adding that “as with the re-location of the US Embassy to Jerusalem,
the decision makes winning support for any US-led peace initiative significantly more difficult.”
Following Donald Trump’s aid cut, Nabil Abu Rdainah, spokesman for Palestinian President
Mahmoud Abbas, said the decision was “a flagrant assault against the Palestinian people and a
defiance of UN resolutions,” and stressed that “such a punishment will not succeed to change
the fact that the United States no longer has a role in the region and that it is not a part of the

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