Biden gives UNRWA $ 135 million. after agency condemned anti-Israel hatred
The Biden administration donated $ 135 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees on Saturday after they signed a framework agreement between them last week that condemned for the first time anti-Israel hatred.
“The signing of the US-UNRWA framework and additional support demonstrates that we once again have a permanent partner in the US who understands the need to provide essential assistance to some of the region’s most vulnerable refugees,” said UNRWA Commissioner General Philippe Lazzarini. Saturday.
UNRWA released news of the U.S. grant and framework agreement the day after U.S. Assistant Under Secretary of State for Israel and Palestinian Affairs Hady Amr concluded his visit to Israel and the United States. Palestinian territories which had started on July 11.
US financial assistance to UNRWA has traditionally been accompanied by a framework cooperation agreement, the latest version of which was signed on Tuesday, July 14.
The 2017 agreement, for the first time, condemned anti-Semitism. “The United States and UNRWA wholeheartedly condemn all manifestations of religious intolerance, incitement, harassment or violence against persons or communities based on ethnicity or religious beliefs, including anti-Semitism ”, indicates the text.
The 2021 version adapted this sentence to read: “The United States and UNRWA unreservedly condemn all manifestations of racial intolerance, incitement to violence, harassment or violence against persons. or community based on ethnicity or religious belief. ”
Then he added an extra line, expanding the condemnation of anti-Semitism to include a broad list of issues such as discrimination against Palestinians and Israelis.
The conviction covered “anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, anti-Catholicism, anti-Arabism or other forms of discrimination or racism against Palestinians, Israelis or other individuals or communities on the basis of their ethnic origins or their religious beliefs “.
The $ 135 million donation brings the total U.S. contribution to UNRWA to $ 313.8 million for this year, which is close to the $ 360 million annually it received when the Trump administration cut American funding.
Until then, the United States was the largest donor to the organization, which serves 5.7 million refugees in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Its contribution this year will represent 20% of the 1.5 billion that UNRWA seeks to raise to meet its annual needs.
The Trump administration had opposed UNRWA, fearing it would support a perennial class of Palestinian refugees by attributing this designation to the descendants of those who fled their homes during Israel’s 1948 War of Independence.
UNRWA said it educates half a million children in 700 schools. He explained that he also runs 140 primary health clinics and provides food, emergency financial assistance, emergency health care, psychological and psychosocial support, emergency education, protection , water and sanitation and a response to COVID-19.