Donors step up funds to UNRWA after US cuts

Geneva: The top official with the UN’s Palestinian aid agency says countries, including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and India, have stepped up in recent months with a “very high amount” of $238 million in extra funding amid US cuts.

UNRWA Commissioner Pierre Kraehenbuehl reiterated his disappointment with the Trump administration’s announcement last week that it is cutting all funding for the agency, after partial cuts announced earlier this year.

Despite the new contributions, Krahenbuehl told reporters by phone on Tuesday that the funding situation remains “critical”, and over $200 million is needed this year to “sustain our operations.”

The new commitments, including from Turkey and some other European countries, came after the US announced plans in January to contribute $60 million this year, down from $360 million a year ago.

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