U.S. Envoy Calls for Dismantling of Failed UNRWA Agency for Palestinian Refugees, Says U.S. Has Provided Enough Aid with Few Results

  • Though a U.S. envoy called for the end of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which supports Palestinian refugees, the agency’s commissioner general, Pierre Krahenbuhl, rejected the idea and said “it should not be singled out over stalled peace efforts in the Middle East.”
  • Krahenbuhl said: “I unreservedly reject the accompanying narrative that suggests that somehow UNRWA is to blame for the continuation of the refugee-hood of Palestine refugees, of their growing numbers and their growing needs.”
  • During a trip to the Gaza Strip, U.S. envoy Jason Greenblatt stated: “UNRWA model has failed the Palestinian people,” and suggested the agency should be handled by “host governments” in the region.
  • Greenblatt added: “We need to engage with host governments to start a conversation about planning the transition of UNRWA services to host governments, or to other international or local nongovernmental organizations, as appropriate.”
  • Greenblatt said that the U.S. had provided $6 billion in donations to the agency since its inception in 1949, but each year, its “funding fell short.” The U.S. provides the most donations to UNRWA.
  • President Trump cut aid to the agency from $355 million in 2017 to $60 million in 2018.

Reference Links

  • DW: UN agency for Palestinians UNRWA rejects US call to close it down READ
  • Hamodia: UNRWA Rejects U.S. Bid to Strip It of Mandate READ
  • The Times of Israel: UN agency for Palestinians rejects US call to dismantle it READ

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