Report: President Trump to cancel all US funding to UNRWA
President Donald Trump is gearing up to make an announcement in the coming weeks that his administration will be ending all US funding to the UNRWA, according to a report in the Washington Post.
The announcement is expected to include reasons explaining the administration’s disapproval of the way the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) spends its money.
The move is part of the administration’s determination to put its money where its policy is as it seeks a recalculation of US foreign aid spending and prepares its own Israeli-Arab peace plan.
UNRWA is an organization that perpetuates the Palestinian refugee problem, creating a situation in which there are great-grandchildren of refugees, who are not refugees but who are cared for by the agency.
In an announcement to be made within the next several weeks, the administration plans to voice its disapproval of the way the UNRWA spends the funds and to call for a sharp reduction in the number of Palestinians recognized as refugees.
This would drop the number from more than 5 million, including descendants, to fewer than a tenth of that number or less, comprised of those still alive from when the agency was created seven decades ago, according to officials familiar with the decision.
Any such reduction would effectively eliminate, for most of ‘Palestinians’, the “right of return” to Israel.
More immediately, many regional foreign policy and security experts, including in Israel, say that slashing UNRWA’s budget, amid a call to “de-register” refugees, would worsen an already disastrous humanitarian situation, especially in Gaza, and sharply increase the level of violence.
In addition to contributions to UNRWA, the United States has provided direct, bilateral assistance to Judea-Samaria and Gaza. Last week, the State Department announced that more than $200 million in already-appropriated aid for this year would be “redirected” elsewhere.
The cuts in funding, along with shifts in policy, including recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, are part of a major reshaping of Middle East policy under President Donald Trump.