U.S. to stop funding UN’s Palestine agency

The U.S. government has decided to stop all funding it gives to a UN agency that provides assistance to millions of Palestinian refugees, ending a decades-long policy of supporting it, according to a former senior U.S. aid official.

The move was pushed hardest by Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and top adviser on West Asia, as part of a plan to compel Palestinian politicians to drop demands that many of those refugees be given the right to return to what they call their homeland, said the former official, R. David Harden, who worked at the U.S. Agency for International Development until April.

Each year, the State Department transfers money by the end of September to the UN Relief and Works Agency, known as UNRWA, which provides aid to Palestinian refugees across the West Asian region. Earlier this year, the State Department released $60 million of the $350 million allocated for the agency, but Mr. Kushner and Mike Pompeo, the Secretary of State, have decided not to give the remaining $290 million, said Mr. Harden.

“What we’re seeing right now is a capricious move that has a very high risk of unsettling the region,” he said, noting that the relief agency supports about five million refugees across the region.NY Times

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