Tuesday, February 7, 2023
HomeRegionalUS President Biden restores $200m in US aid to Palestinians slashed by...

US President Biden restores $200m in US aid to Palestinians slashed by pro-Israel Donald Trump

US - Aid to Middle east
A demonstrator holds a banner and Palestinian flag during a protest against the building of illegal Israeli settlements in Beit Dajan in the Israeli-occupied West Bank on January 8, 2021 [Raneen Sawafta/Reuters]

The Former US president Donald trump had gradually cut virtually all US money to Palestinian aid projects.

As expected, the New Biden administration  will restore more than $200m in aid to Palestinians, reversing massive funding cuts under the Donald Trump administration that left humanitarian groups scrambling to keep people from plunging into poverty.

“[We] plan to restart US economic, development, and humanitarian assistance for the Palestinian people,” the secretary of state, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, said in a statement.

The aid includes $75m in economic and development funds for the occupied West Bank and Gaza, which will provide food and clean water to Palestinians and help small businesses. A further $150m will be provided to the United Nations relief and works agency for Palestine refugees in the near east (UNRWA), a UN body that supports more than 5 million Palestinian refugees across the region.

After Donald Trump’s row with the Palestinian leadership, President Joe Biden has sought to restart Washington’s flailing efforts to push for a two-state resolution for the Israel-Palestinian crisis, and restoring the aid is part of that. In his statement, Blinken said US foreign assistance “serves important US interests and values”.

“The United States is committed to advancing prosperity, security, and freedom for both Israelis and Palestinians in tangible ways in the immediate term, which is important in its own right, but also as a means to advance towards a negotiated two-state solution,” he said.

Palestinian leaders and the UN welcomed the resumption of aid. Israel, however, criticised the decision to restore funds to UNRWA, a body it has long claimed is a bloated, flawed group.

“We believe that this UN agency for so-called refugees should not exist in its current format,” said Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan. Pro-Israel US lawmakers joined the country in opposition to the aid and said they would scrutinize it in Congress.

From 2018, Trump gradually cut virtually all US money to Palestinian aid projects after the Palestinian leadership accused him of being biased towards Israel and refused to talk. The US president accused Palestinians of lacking “appreciation or respect”.

The former president cancelled more than $200m in economic aid, including $25m earmarked for underfunded East Jerusalem hospitals that have suffered during the Covid-19 crisis. Trump’s cuts to UNRWA, which also serves Palestinian refugees in war-stricken Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East, was described by the agency’s then head as “the biggest and most severe” funding crisis since the body was created in 1949. The US was previously UNRWA’s biggest donor.

To outcry from aid workers, leaked emails suggested the move may have partly been a political tactic to weaken the Palestinian leadership. Those emails alleged that Donald Trump’s son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner had argued that “ending the assistance outright could strengthen his negotiating hand” to push Palestinians to accept their blueprint for an Israeli-Palestinian deal.

The cuts were decried as catastrophic for Palestinians’ ability to provide basic healthcare, schooling, and sanitation, including by prominent Israeli establishment figures.

Last April, as the coronavirus pandemic hit, Donald Trump’s government announced it would send money to Palestinians. The $5m one-off donation was roughly 1% of the amount Washington provided a year before Trump began slashing aid.

The Maravi Post has over one billion views since its inception in December of 2009. Viewed in over 100 countries Follow US: Twitter @maravipost Facebook Page : maravipost Instagram: maravipost    
Ufulu is a reporter at the Maravi Post since Inception. He has a Degree in Computer Science and has reported on Technical and development issues.

Most Popular

Recent Comments

The History of online Casinos – Agora Poker – hao029 on The History of online Casinos
Five factors that will determine #NigeriaDecides2023 - NEWSCABAL on Leadership Is Difficult Because Governance Is Very Stubborn, By Owei Lakemfa
Asal Usul Texas Holdem Poker – Agora Poker – hao029 on The Origins of Texas Holdem Poker
Malawi has asked Mike Tyson to be its cannabis ambassador - Techio on Malawi lawmaker Chomanika against Mike Tyson’s appointment as Cannabis Brand Ambassador over sex offence
Finley Mbella on Brand Chakwera leaks Part 1
Maria Eduarda Bernardo on The 2021 Guide to Trading Forex Online
Atsogo Kemso, Political Foot Soldier on Why MCP and UTM Alliance Will Fail
Em. Prof. Willem Van Cotthem - Ghent University, Belgium on Malawi army, National bank cover Chilumba barrack with trees
Christopher Murdock on Why dating older woman is dangerous?
Samantha The Hammer on Why dating older woman is dangerous?
Muhindo Isevahani on The Cold War Against TB Joshua
JCON/SCOAN/BKN(888/8885/8808) on The Cold War Against TB Joshua
Keen Observer on Jesse Kabwila, Then and Now
Francesco Sinibaldi on Advertising in 2020 and beyond
Nana Ama on