Sweden voices concern over US review of funding for UNRWA

January 10, 2018 Off By Web Desk

New York, (UNA-OIC) – The Swedish ambassador to the United Nations said on Tuesday he is concerned about the Trump administration’s plans to review funding for UNRWA, a UN body which provides aid to Palestinian refugees.

My concern (is) that as we talk about region stability, withdrawing funding for UNRWA would be very negative both in terms of humanitarian needs of over 5 million people but also, of course, it would be destabilizing for the region, Olof Skoog said.

The United States is the largest donor to UNRWA, with a pledge of nearly $370 million as of 2016, according to the organization’s website.

Last Tuesday, President Donald Trump said the United States may withhold future aid payments to Palestinians, over the Palestinians’ refusal of Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, as well as moving the US embassy to the holy city. Earlier, his UN Ambassador Nikki Haley said the future US funding for UNRWA was under review.

A State Department official later said that no decision had been made on payment. We’re just trying to sort out what the exact information is on that, Skoog said on Tuesday, adding that he has brought the subject up bilaterally with Haley.

Relations between the Palestinians and Washington soured last month after Trump’s announcement, which generated outrage across the world and concern among Washington’s Western allies.

Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of a state that they seek to establish in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Palestinian officials have said Trump’s declaration on Jerusalem meant he could not serve as an honest broker in peace negotiations with Israel that Washington has been trying to revive.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu repeated over the weekend his call for UNRWA to be dismantled.

Source: Interantional Islamic News Agency