The American Human Rights Council (AHRC-USA) joins all peace-loving people in the US and across the globe, in expressing deep dismay over the Trump administration’s decision to slash US contributions to UNRWA.
UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency) provides basic services to millions of Palestinian refugees- men, women and children, some of whom are in truly dire need of assistance. The aid is vital to the very survival of Palestinian men, women and children who are the victims of the ongoing Arab-Israeli conflict. The UNRWA support is a much needed support to refugees who have been prevented from returning to their homes after the creation of the State of Israel.
The Trump administration does not shows any rudimentary understanding of what UNRWA does and who it works for. UNRWA is not a Palestinian organization and is not subject to the control of the Palestinian Authority or the Palestinian Liberation Organization. UNRWA is a UN entity that provides humanitarian assistance to Palestinian refugees. For decades, the US and other countries have provided support to UNRWA for humanitarian reasons, not to send political messages or to apply political pressure.
For years UNRWA had to stretch its resources to help the growing number of refugees. The services have been limited over the years due to lack of adequate funding. Therefore, increasingly UNRWA support of Palestinians has been focused on the most dire of humanitarian cases. UNRWA budget has not increased over the years nearly enough to reflect the natural growth of the refugee population.
“Anyone who has visited the Palestinian refugee camps and is familiar with the Palestinian cause knows how vital UNRWA is to the very survival of the Palestinian refugees,” said Imad Hamad, AHRC Executive Director. “The cuts to UNRWA budget are unconscionable,” added Hamad. “President Trump, his wife and children need to visit a Palestinian refugee camp and see for themselves what UNRWA is and what it does for the Palestinian refugees. I am sure he would change his mind,” concluded Hamad.