Nine House Democrats wrote a letter on Wednesday, to United States president Donald Trump, requesting him to update the current status of U.S. funding towards Palestinian Authority (PA).
In spite being the largest single donor to UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), in January of 2018, the United States withheld $65 million from the organization, as they were “examining” the use of money, responding to the refusal of Mahmoud Abbas’ meeting with US officials following the controversy regarding Jerusalem being the official capital of Israel.
On 23 March, 2018, the United States passed the “Taylor Force Act” which fully cuts off funding for the PA unless it ceases to pay stipends to families of Palestinian prisoners, and revokes laws authorizing this compensation.
The USAID office in the West Bank and Gaza, an American international agency, has not received a budget for the following year, thus placing a halt to its projects, according to the PNN.
According to the letter, the impact of the funding freeze could lead to catastrophic consequences: “140,000 people will cease to receive emergency food and non-food assistance, 42,000 patients will not receive essential health services, 50,000 youths will lack access to life skills development, and 12,250 people will lose paid entrepreneurship opportunities.
“We believe these crucial humanitarian funds must be restored in order to save innocent lives.”
The letter was signed by Ted Deutch, Gerald Connolly, David Cicilline, Lois Frankel, Tulsi Gabbard, Brendan Boyle, Ted Lieu, Bradley Schneider, Thomas Suozzi.