CMEP Supports Administration’s UNRWA Funding and Urges Congressional Support for Full Funding for Palestinian Humanitarian Needs
Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) welcomes the ongoing efforts of the Biden Administration to restore vital funding for Palestinian humanitarian needs that had been cut during the previous administration. On September 16, it was announced that the U.S. would provide $64 million in funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA). On top of the $79 million promised for UNRWA earlier this year, and $201 million announced as part of a $316 million package on July 15, this brings the total U.S. pledged contribution to UNRWA in 2022 to $344 million.
In addition, the July package also included $15 million for humanitarian assistance in the wake of rising food insecurity caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine and $100 million for the East Jerusalem Hospital Network.
CMEP supports the restoration of this vital humanitarian funding, some of which is subject to Congressional approval. CMEP urges Congress to ensure that all the funds requested are fully appropriated.
CMEP also expresses its alarm at a proposed amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would have the effect of prohibiting the U.S. from providing these much-needed funds to UNRWA and at legislation in the House that seeks to undermine support for critical UNRWA funding based on allegations about the content of some Palestinian school textbooks. Hunger, healthcare, and education are too important to be targets for political gamesmanship. In addition to the onerous restrictions of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the ongoing blockade of Gaza, a challenging global economy has placed Palestinians in an even more precarious position. Congress must include full funding for Palestinian humanitarian needs in its appropriations.