UNRWA operating on "month-to-month" basis due to US aid cuts


Scrambling to tackle COVID-19 in camps across the Middle East, the U.N. agency supporting Palestinian refugees said Tuesday it only has enough cash to operate until the end of May because of American funding cuts.

In 2018 President Donald Trump's administration halted annual payments of $360 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which provides assistance to some 5.5 million registered refugees in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Occupied East Jerusalem, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.

Elizabeth Campbell, UNRWA's director in Washington, told reporters that the loss of U.S. aid had a "corrosive impact" on the agency's ability to help vulnerable people.

"We are basically operating on a month-to-month basis. Right now, we have funding to pay our 30,000 health care workers until the end of this month," Campbell said in a Zoom conference call from Washington.