US to Stop Aiding UNRWA

Prelims level : International Organisation Mains level : Paper – II International Organisation
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  • 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;[4] 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.
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