America ends funding for United Nations' Palestinian refugee agency
The US was the largest single donor to the UN Palestinian refugee agency
The United States is halting its funding for the United Nations' agency for Palestinian refugees after determining that the organisation is "irredeemably flawed," the State Department has said.
Washington has long been the UN Relief and Works Agency's (UNRWA) largest donor, but is "no longer willing to shoulder the very disproportionate share of the burden," State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement on Friday.
Just hours after the Palestinians warned such a move would further undermine the already flailing chances of peace with Israel, Nauert said there would be no additional contributions beyond a $60 million dollar payment in January.
"The United States will no longer commit further funding to this irredeemably flawed operation," Nauert added. There have been widespread warnings about the impact about a halt to funding from the US which contributed $350 million to UNRWA's budget last year.
Palestinians condemn US
Ramallah: A spokesman for the Palestinian president says the American decision to cut funding for the UN agency aiding Palestinian refugees is "an attack on the rights of the Palestinian people." Mahmoud Abbas' spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudeneh, says Saturday the move does "not serve peace but rather strengthens terrorism in the region."
UN regrets US decision
United Nations: UN chief Antonio Guterres has expressed regret over the US' decision to provide no further funding to UNRWA, urging other countries to help fill the financial gap. His remarks came after US decided to stop funding the refugee agency.
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