UN envoy demands Trump resume funding to UNRWA

Nickolay Mladenov concerned over UNRWA's financial crisis as school year about to begin.

Ben Ariel,

Nickolay Mladenov
Nickolay Mladenov
Reuters

The UN special envoy to the Middle East Nickolay Mladenov on Tuesday urged U.S. President Donald Trump to resume funding he had cut to the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), the UN agency which assists “Palestinian refugees”.

Addressing a UN Security Council meeting on the Middle East and quoted by Haaretz, Mladenov said that "UNRWA’s financial crisis remains a very serious concern. At present, UNRWA needs some $217 million to sustain its work in 2018. I urge the swift mobilization of support to enable the continuity of assistance and a maintenance of stability on the ground in the region."

"UNRWA has communicated to staff that every effort will be made to mitigate the impact on the most vulnerable refugees of reductions in emergency assistance. Of particular concern, is the possibility of a delay to the start of the school year for some 526,000 students in UNRWA schools throughout its areas of operation," added Mladenov.

The U.S. announced in January it would cut some of its funding to UNRWA, citing a need to undertake a fundamental re-examination of the organization, both in the way it operates and the way it is funded.

The organization later received pledges of $100 million in additional funding from Qatar, Canada, Switzerland, Turkey, New Zealand, Norway, Korea, Mexico, Slovakia, India and France as a means of making up for the aid that was cut by Washington.

UNRWA said last month that it had managed to pay salaries and provide some services, but also said there was still a large budget deficit of $256 million.

UNRWA is notorious for its anti-Israel activities. During the 2014 counterterrorism Operation Protective Edge, Hamas rockets were discovered inside a school building run by UNRWA.

Likewise, a booby-trapped UNRWA clinic was detonated, killing three IDF soldiers. Aside from the massive amounts of explosives hidden in the walls of the clinic, it was revealed that it stood on top of dozens of terror tunnels, showing how UNRWA is closely embedded with Hamas.

More recently, the director of UNRWA operations in Gaza expressed his support for the anti-Israel marches along the Israel-Gaza border and pledged that the organization’s medical centers will provide care for “Palestinian refugees” who might sustain injuries during them.








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