Trump plans to cancel funding for UN Palestinian refugee program: report

Trump plans to cancel funding for UN Palestinian refugee program: report
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The Trump administration reportedly plans to cut all funding to a United Nations agency that dispenses aid to Palestinian refugees over its concerns on the number of refugees recognized by the organization.

The Washington Post reported Thursday that the administration will announce in the coming weeks the end of funding for the U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) over concerns that the organization does not spend nearly $1.1 billion annually in total funds wisely. Roughly a third of that funding comes from the U.S.

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Among the concerns of the Trump administration are Palestinian leaders' continued criticism of the U.S. and complaints that other countries in the region, including Saudi Arabia, do not contribute enough to the fund.

"[T]here’s an endless number of refugees that continue to get assistance, but more importantly, the Palestinians continue to bash America,” U.N. Ambassador Nikki HaleyNimrata (Nikki) HaleyOvernight Defense: Air Force outlines plan for biggest force since end of Cold War | Trump admin slashes refugee cap | Mattis accuses Russia of meddling in Macedonia's NATO bid Nikki Haley accuses Russia of undermining international sanctions against North Korea NYT says it was unfair on Haley curtain story MORE said earlier this week, according to The Post.

“Where is Saudi Arabia? Where is the United Arab Emirates? Where is Kuwait?” she added. “Do they not care enough about Palestinians to go and give money to make sure these kids are taken care of?”

Under the reported decision, a planned $130 donation to UNRWA that was cut in half earlier this year has become the last donation to the organization under the Trump administration.

The Trump administration has typically aligned with Israel and its prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, on matters concerning the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Earlier this year, Haley lambasted the U.N., which she said had "bullied" Israel in the past.

"The U.N. spends more than half of its time singling out one country," she said in March. "We will not stand for it any longer."

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas slammed the reported decision earlier this week, calling it an attempt by the Trump administration to put pressure on Palestinian authorities.

“After using humanitarian aid to blackmail and pressure the Palestinian leadership to submit to the empty plan known as ‘the deal of the century,’ the Trump administration plans to commit an immoral scandal against Palestinian refugees by giving itself the right to abolish [their] historical rights,” Abbas said.