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Trump prepares to defund UNRWA if PLO-Israel negotiations don’t resume

By David Singer - posted Wednesday, 10 January 2018


President Trump appears determined to defund the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) should the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) refuse to resume negotiations with Israel.

Such negotiations – suspended since April 2014 – won't re-commence until Trump's eagerly-awaited peace plan – his "ultimate deal" - sees the light of day. Until then current UNRWA funding will probably continue.

Trump will have been singularly unimpressed with PLO Executive committee member Hanan Ashrawi describing America's threat to defund UNRWA as "blackmail".

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US Ambassador to the United Nations - Nikki Haley - explained America's future intentions regarding UNRWA:

The President has basically said he doesn't want to give any additional funding, or stop funding, until the Palestinians agree to come back to the negotiation table. We still very much want to have a peace process. Nothing changes with that. The Palestinians now have to show they want to come to the table.

As of now, they're not coming to the table, but they ask for aid. We're not giving the aid. We're going to make sure that they come to the table.

America has long borne the lion's share in funding UNRWA's refugee program.

Contributions to UNWRA are purely voluntary.

US$1243 million was donated to UNWRA in 2016 by:

1. America - US$368 million

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2. The European Union - US$160 million

3. Saudi Arabia - US$148 million

4. The rest of the world - US$567 million

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About the Author

David Singer is an Australian Lawyer, a Foundation Member of the International Analyst Network and Convenor of Jordan is Palestine International - an organisation calling for sovereignty of the West Bank and Gaza to be allocated between Israel and Jordan as the two successor States to the Mandate for Palestine. Previous articles written by him can be found at www.jordanispalestine.blogspot.com.

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Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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