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Global Geopolitical Series: EU pledges €42.5 million additional funding for Palestinians at extraordinary donors meeting

Donor countries to Palestinian refugees through United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) that supports Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) usually meets every year and in 2017, they met in September. No meeting was due until the second half of 2018 but President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel late last year and his decision to withhold funding to the UNRWA to the tune of $63 million in response to PLO’s refusal to join the negotiation after Trump’s decision prompted an extraordinary meeting of the UNRWA donor countries, which was held yesterday.

After the meeting, it was announced that a new funding package of €42.5 million will be donated by the European Union to support the future state of Palestine. European Union’s foreign policy chief urged the United States not to go alone in Trump administration’s overzealous effort to make peace in the Middle East. EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini was quoted saying to reporters in Brussels, “Any framework for negotiations must be multilateral and must involve all players - all partners - that are essential to this process. A process without one or the other would simply not work, would simply not be realistic…..Nothing without the United States, nothing with the United States alone".

Since 1994, the United States has been the biggest donor to UNRWA, which received almost one-third of its annual budget from the U.S. in 2016. President Trump’s decision to withhold almost half of the U.S. funding ($125 million) has sparked UNRWA’s biggest ever financial crisis ever and the organization has urged other donors to step in to close the funding gap. Switzerland, Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Germany, Russia, Belgium, Kuwait, the Netherlands, and Ireland have taken steps to do so.

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2018-08-21 16:54:03
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