Haley urges Mideast nations to increase aid to UNRWA

U.S. ambassador to the UN says UNRWA will need to be reformed before Washington can consider fully supporting it again.

Elad Benari,

Nikki Haley
Nikki Haley
Reuters

Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, on Tuesday urged Middle Eastern nations to increase aid to “Palestinian refugees”, The Associated Press reported.

Speaking at a conference in Washington hosted by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, Haley said the U.S. cannot be faulted for cutting funding to UNRWA, the UN agency for “Palestinian refugees”, when countries like Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait don’t give more to the organization.

The Trump administration 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 has since 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 recently said it had managed to pay salaries and provide some services, but also said there was still a large budget deficit of $256 million.

In her remarks on Tuesday, Haley reiterated that the Trump administration wants to see UNRWA reformed before it can resume its support for it.

Haley added that the Trump administration was going to change the discussion over a Palestinian "right of return," although she did not elaborate how that would be done.

The ambassador also spoke out against the UN's bias against Israel, calling it "pathetic" and adding that one of the reasons the Trump administration decided to withdraw from the UN Human Rights Council was in order to not give the body any legitimacy.








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