US Holds Back USD65m Aid to UNRWA

تم نشره في Tue 16 January / Jan 2018. 01:00 AM
  • Boxes containing aid from the U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) are seen ahead of their transfer to the Gaza Strip, inside the Kerem Shalom border crossing terminal between Israel and Gaza Strip January 16, 2018. - (REUTERS)

CAPITALS — The US is withholding more than half of a USD125 million instalment destined for the UN relief agency for Palestinian refugees, American officials say.

It will provide USD60 million in aid to the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) but will hold back a further USD65 million.

A UN official said the move would have devastating consequences for hundreds of thousands of vulnerable people.

President Donald Trump said earlier the US could cut aid if Palestinians rejected peace efforts with Israel.

The US funds almost 30% of the UN agency's work overall and gave USD370 million to UNRWA last year. The money withheld is part of this year's first instalment.

On Sunday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas sharply attacked Mr Trump's Middle East peace efforts, saying he would not accept any peace plan from the US after it recognised Jerusalem last year as Israel's capital.

He accused Israel of putting an end to the 1994 Oslo Accords, which began the peace process.