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World

US restores aid to Palestinians with $235 million funding package

  • Blinken says the US will relaunch policies stopped during the Trump administration, including $150 million for UN Relief and Works Agency
  • Assistance will help provide critical relief to those in great need, fosters economic development, and supports Israeli-Palestinian understanding, security coordination, and stability
08 Apr 2021

(Karachi) The Joe Biden-led US administration has announced to restore $235 million in humanitarian funding to support Palestinian economic relief programs, local media reported on Thursday.

Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said the US will relaunch policies stopped during the Trump administration, including $150 million for UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) – a funding initiative that has frustrated Republican members of congress.

He added the funding will help provide critical relief to those in great need, fosters economic development and supports Israeli-Palestinian understanding, security coordination and stability.

The US State Department said the nation would contribute $150 million to the UN agency and give an additional $75 million in economic and development assistance for the West Bank and Gaza. Besides, the US will also grant $10 million for peacebuilding efforts.

The agency provides aid and relief services to around 5.7 million registered Palestinian refugees in the occupied West Bank, Gaza Strip and across the Middle East.

The Trump administration had blocked aid to Palestinians after it severed ties with the Palestinian Authority in 2018. The move aied to force the Palestinians to negotiate with Israel on terms the Palestinian leadership branded as an effort to deny them a viable state.