Palestinian refugees reacted with bewilderment against the decision taken by the US to freeze the funds for a UN agency. A warning stated that this decision would lead to increased anger, instability, and poverty in the Middle East. The declaration stated that the US would no longer help the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for Palestine Refugees has aggravated the cash crisis at the agency. It also raised tensions with THE Palestinian leadership.
The 68-year-old UNRWA offers services to more than 5 million Palestinian refugees all over Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Gaza, and in the West Bank. Most are the heir of the roughly 700,000 Palestinians were either expelled from their homes or escaped the battle which led to the formation of Israel.
In Gaza, a refugee and father of eight stated the condition is bad and is going to become worse. People are unable to manage their living nowadays and soon might get involved in illegal activities.
A spokesperson from the State Department stated on 31st August that the business model of UNRWA and its fiscal policies were an irreversible erroneous operation and that the agency’s extensively increasing community of designated beneficiaries is simply unsuitable.
UNRWA rebuffed the criticisms, as spokesman Chris Gunness described it as a force for provincial stability.
In Jordan, around 2 million registered Palestinian refugees are living, and around 370,000 refugees are staying in ten refugee camps. Hence, the decision taken by the US is highly disappointing.
Gunness stated UNRWA furnishes health clinics, schooling to 526,000 children of refugees throughout Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank, and Gaza. Food assistance is provided to 1.7 million people in Gaza.
The agency is facing a funding shortage of $217 million; it would be asking donors about new sources of income.
The United States was UNRWA’s huge donor. However, it reduced its funding earlier this year. It paid out only $60 million during the first installment in January and restrained $65 million later on. However, the US had pledged to offer $365 million throughout the year.