Announcements / January 2018

USCRI Opposes Plans to Cut U.S. Contributions to the UN Relief Agency for Palestinians

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USCRI Opposes Plans to Cut U.S. Contributions to the UN Relief Agency for Palestinians

For Immediate Release:
January 26, 2018

MEDIA CONTACT:
Stacie Blake
sblake@uscridc.org; 703.310.1166

Washington, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants and 20 other leading international humanitarian organizations sent a letter to the Trump Administration “to object in the strongest of terms to the decision to withhold $65 million of the planned United States contribution to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).” The United States is the largest single donor to UNRWA, providing hundreds of millions of dollars a year to the Palestinians.

The letter was sent to United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster, and Secretary of Defense James Mattis.

The U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants firmly upholds the comments, as stated in this letter, that “…this decision impacting humanitarian aid to civilians is not based on any assessment of need, but rather designed both to punish Palestinian political leaders and to force political concessions from them. This is simply unacceptable as a rationale for denying civilians humanitarian assistance, and a dangerous and striking departure from U.S. policy on international humanitarian assistance.”

Humanitarian assistance provided to these vulnerable populations comes in the forms of emergency food aid, healthcare, education, etc. This critical assistance should be based solely on need and to remove such assistance would mean dire consequences. The U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants and the letter’s other signatories hope sincerely that this decision be reconsidered by the Administration.

Read the full letter here.

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