U.N. Palestinian refugee agency says U.S., Israel working against it

The interim head of the U.N. agency that aids Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, accused the United States on Thursday (January 16) of lobbying foreign parliaments to stop donations to the organization.

Christian Saunders also said Israel was seeking to replace United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) services for Palestinians, mandated by the U.N. General Assembly, in occupied East Jerusalem with those of its own.


"We are still engaged with the U.S. and talking to the U.S. We will continue to engage with them in the hopes that they will see that UNRWA is a reliable partner and worth supporting. And we hope that they will put their funding back at some point in the future, sooner rather than later."

UNRWA has faced budgetary difficulties since 2018, when the United States, its biggest donor, halted its annual aid of $360 million.

The United States and Israel have both accused UNRWA of mismanagement and anti-Israeli incitement.