After the announcement by US President Joe Biden of the resumption of US aid to the Palestinians, the UN agency for aid to Palestinian refugees (Unrwa) welcomed this decision which comes at a time when the vaccination against the coronavirus is still late in the Gaza Strip.
The Commissioner General of Unrwa, Philippe Lazzarini, “welcomes the resumption of funding and expresses his gratitude for the renewal of relations between his agency and the United States (…) which comes at a critical moment”, he added. he wrote in a press release the day after the reactivation of American aid.
He added that Unrwa and the United States are historical partners, and that this news makes this UN agency “happy” “because once again we will join forces with the United States to provide essential assistance to some of the most vulnerable refugees in the Middle East and fulfill our mandate to educate and provide primary health care to millions of refugees every day ”.
Contrasting with the position of his predecessor, Donald Trump who had stopped this financial aid justifying that in return the Palestinians had no respect and consideration for the United States, the new American administration wished to resume a traditional position in accordance with the international diplomacy practiced for many years on the question of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Under the Trump presidency, aid to Palestinian refugees has also declined significantly, but with Joe Biden’s decision, the amount allocated has returned to that previously practiced. Now Washington will contribute with $ 235 million.
This amount will nevertheless be distributed among different missions, most of which is devoted to the Unrwa agency with 150 million dollars for the 5 million Palestinian refugees. In addition, 75 million dollars will be devoted to the development and economy of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and 10 million dollars for the peace process.
According to Lazzarini, the aid will help support its 700 schools attended by half a million children and its 150 clinics which provide 8.5 million consultations per year.
“The US contribution comes at a critical time, as we continue to adapt to the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic. We encourage all member states to contribute to Unrwa, ”added the same source.
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