Jordan’s foreign minister has warned of “dangerous consequences to regional stability” if the Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA cannot provide services to refugees.
The country which presently provides refuge to over two million refugees from troubled middle eastern states said the move represents a major hit for the agency, as the US had long been its biggest donor.
Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said that Amman regrets Washington’s decision to cut funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine (UNRWA).
The foreign minister also said that his country will continue to rally for donor support to help ease the financial strain that the agency is currently facing.
The Trump administration made a decision to cut funds to UNRWA on Friday.
When announcing Washington’s decision to cease funding for the agency, the State Department called it an “irredeemably flawed operation,” stressing that the US would no longer “shoulder the very disproportionate share of the burden of UNRWA’s costs.”
Responding to the announcement, UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness said the agency is disappointed by the move, calling it “all the more surprising given that UNRWA and the United States renewed a funding agreement in December 2017.”
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas described it as a “flagrant assault against the Palestinian people,” while some Israeli officials hailed the move.
Meanwhile, Israeli Intelligence Minister Israel Katz praised “the decision of the president of the United States to halt all funding of UNRWA – the body that enshrines the Palestinian refugee problem.”
UNRWA, which began operations in 1950, assists some five million Palestinian refugees, according to its website.