Biden Administration to Reinstate Aid to Palestinians Cut by Trump Formerly
The Biden administration has made recent attempts to restore funding to Palestine that was formerly suspended by the Trump administration. Additionally, it would also reinstate funding to UN Relief and Works Agency.
The relations between Palestinians and the US worsened under President Donald Trump. Washington had cut off $251 million in financial support for Palestinians back in 2018. It also withdrew $300 million it used to give to the UN agency supporting Palestinian refugees. Under the administration of Donald Trump, the government closed down the diplomatic mission of the Palestine Liberation Organization in Washington DC.
Now in an attempt to reverse these actions of its predecessor, the Biden administration made an announcement recently in favor of Palestinians. The Biden administration announced on Wednesday that it would send at least $235 million US aid to the Palestinians. This would reverse President Donald Trump’s previous act of cutting off assistance in 2018.
The aid will flow primarily to the United Nations Relief and Work Agency (UNRWA). The UNRWA provides schools, food, shelter, and health facilities in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and West Bank for Palestinian refugees. This aid by UNRWA is provided to almost 5.7 million Palestinian refugees in these territories.
The head of UNRWA while speaking to Reuters in the Jordanian Capital, Amman revealed that the funds couldn’t reach soon enough.
The package is of really high importance for the United States in order to strengthen its ties with the people of Palestine. The relation between the people of Palestine and the United States went stale during Donald Trump’s tenure. In 2018 the Trump administration stopped practically all aid after it severed relations with the Palestinian leadership. The step was essentially seen as an effort to force the Palestinians to negotiate with Israel. According to the Palestinian leadership, the terms of negotiations were such that it would have denied them a viable state.
Back then the US slashed more than half of its funding to UNRWA on top of Washington’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. It had also announced that it would open its embassy in the capital. All this escalated tensions between the US and the Palestinians.
The impact on the Palestinian families of the aid cut by the Trump administration was massive. In the West Bank, 27,000 Palestinians lost all food assistance while in the Gaza Strip 165,000 residents experienced an aid cut of 20%. The people that the US aid reached are the most vulnerable across Palestine so the cut-off made them suffer a lot.
However, things seem to be going in a better direction for Palestinians under Biden Administration since it’s committed to advancing prosperity and security.