US to Stop Aiding UNRWA
08, Sep 2018
Prelims level : International Organisation Mains level : Paper – II International Organisation
- The U.S. government has decided to stop all funding it gives to a UN Relief and Works Agency, known as UNRWA, that provides assistance to millions of Palestinian refugees, ending a decades-long policy of supporting it.
- US justifying this largely on the grounds that the funding is mismanaged and that the agency itself wastes money and is inefficient, determining the organisation to be an “irredeemably flawed operation”.
- Endlessly and exponentially expanding community of entitled beneficiaries is simply unsustainable and has been in crisis mode for many years.
- The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) is a relief and human development agency which supports more than 5 million registered Palestinian refugees, and their descendants, who fled or were expelled from their homes during the 1948 Palestine war as well as those who fled or were expelled during and following the 1967 Six Day war.
- UNRWA provides education, health care, and social services to the population it supports.
- Aid is provided in five areas of operation: Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem; aid for Palestinian refugees outside these five areas is provided by UNHCR.
- UNRWA is the only UN agency dedicated to helping refugees from a specific region or conflict and is separate from UNHCR.
- UNRWA allows refugee status to be inherited by descendants unlike UNHCR which eliminate their refugee status by local integration in current country.
- UNRWA’s headquarters are divided between the Gaza Strip and Amman.
- Most of UNRWA’s funding comes from European countries and the United States.