The United Nations on Wednesday called on countries to bolster funding to Palestinian refugees, warning of a collapse in health-care and education services, after the White House withheld about half its pledged financial aid to a key institution that supports the displaced people.
The U.S. move adds further pressure on Palestinian leaders, who have accused President Donald Trump of aligning with Israel and are now scrambling for a strategy to achieve statehood after diplomatic setbacks such as a White House policy change on Jerusalem.
On Tuesday, the U.S. said it would give $60 million to the U.N. Relief and Works Agency after previously agreeing to deliver $125 million in its first installment this year. The cut followed complaints by Mr. Trump that the U.S. pays Palestinians millions of dollars a year but receives no “respect” in return.
The U.S. is the largest donor to Unrwa, contributing $368 million last year to an international budget of $1.24 billion.
Unrwa said the U.S. move presents it with a “formidable challenge” in upholding its international mandate to support displaced Palestinians in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and the Israeli-controlled Palestinian territories.
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