TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) - The move was previewed by US media outlets in recent weeks after e-mails from President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, were leaked showing his interest in “disrupting” the UN body.
“The administration has carefully reviewed the issue and determined that the United States will not make additional contributions to UNRWA,” the State Department said in a statement.
“When we made a US contribution of $60 million in January, we made it clear that the United States was no longer willing to shoulder the very disproportionate share of the burden of UNRWA’s costs that we had assumed for many years.”
“Beyond the budget gap itself and failure to mobilize adequate and appropriate burden sharing, the fundamental business model and fiscal practices that have marked UNRWA for years– tied to UNRWA’s endlessly and exponentially expanding community of entitled beneficiaries– is simply unsustainable and has been in crisis mode for many years,” it continued.
“The United States will no longer commit further funding to this irredeemably flawed operation.”
The Palestinian Authority envoy to Washington, Husam Zomlot, said in a statement that the US was “reneging on its international commitments” by cutting its aid– the most generous of any country.
“It’s not up to the US administration to define the status of Palestinian refugees,” Zomlot said. “The only status the US can define is, its own role in peacemaking in the region. By endorsing the most extreme Israeli narrative on all issues including the rights of more than 5 million Palestinian refugees, the US administration has lost its status as peacemaker and is damaging not only an already volatile situation but the prospects for future peace in the Middle East.”
A State Department official confirmed to The Jerusalem Post earlier this week that, while the administration would disapprove of UNRWA’s definition for Palestinian refugees qualifying for aid, it would not redefine nor enumerate the category.
Earlier last week, UNRWA’s head Pierre Kraehenbuehl, suggested that the United States slashed its budget to punish the Palestinians for their criticism of the American recognition of Al-Quds as the Israeli capital, but he warned that the Palestinian refugee issue will not go away.