Germany to raise funds for Palestinian refugee agency

Trump Admin Ending UN Aid To Palestinian Refugees

The Trump administration is preparing to cut almost $300 million in planned funding for the U.N. Palestinian refugee agency.

"The administration has carefully reviewed the issue and determined that the United States will not make additional contributions to Unrwa", spokeswoman Heather Nauert said. In January, the Trump administration released $60 million in funds but withheld a further $65 million it had been due to provide.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in the Friday statement that the United Nations agency's "endlessly and exponentially expanding community of entitled beneficiaries is simply unsustainable and has been in crisis mode for many years".

The US is reportedly preparing to slash all funding to the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees, prompting outrage from Palestinians and warnings that the move could spark unrest in region.

But under Trump, Washington has taken a number of actions that have alienated the Palestinians, including the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Where is the United Arab Emirates?

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A formal announcement with respect to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, known as UNRWA, is expected in the next few weeks.

Earlier on Friday, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Germany would increase its contributions to the agency because its funding crisis was fuelling uncertainty.

The administration has remained critical of UNRWA, with Trump senior Jared Kushner writing in an email in January, "It is important to have an honest and sincere effort to disrupt UNRWA, ..."

Palestinians have accused the White House of using the agency - and the welfare of refugees - as a bargaining chip to pressure Palestinian leadership into a US -brokered peace deal with Israel.

For over 70 years, UNRWA has funneled money to Palestinian organizations in various Middle Eastern countries, including Israel, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon.

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Aaron David Miller, a former USA negotiator in Mideast peace talks, warned on Twitter that the cuts could lead to instability, and end up costing Israel.

There is deepening global concern over deteriorating humanitarian conditions in the West Bank and Gaza, and the USA decision to defund provoked strong and polarized reactions in Washington.

It says there is no justification for UNRWA's unique criteria, by which all subsequent generations of descendants of the original refugees are also designated as having refugee status, including those born elsewhere and/or holding citizenship elsewhere; such a designation does not apply to the world's other refugee populations.

President Trump has long called for other nations to step up and share the "burden of costs", and while efforts have been made to address the issue, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said that "the overall worldwide response has not been sufficient".

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