The Saudi King Salman aid center is providing $50 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), Arab News tweeted Wednesday.
— Arab News (@arabnews)
UNRWA is the only UN agency dedicated to helping refugees from a specific region or conflict and is separate from UNHCR. Formed in 1950, UNHCR is the main UN refugee agency, which is responsible for aiding other refugees all over the world. Unlike UNRWA, UNHCR has a specific mandate to aid its refugees to eliminate their refugee status by local integration in current country, resettlement in a third country or repatriation when possible. UNRWA allows refugee status to be inherited by some descendants.
The Trump administration has withdrawn its predecessor’s commitment to support UNRWA, leaving the agency at near bankruptcy, unable to maintain its facilities in the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian Authority and Jordan. President Trump’s senior adviser Jared Kushner advocates the winding down of UNRWA through a campaign to disrupt it, and aims to strip “Palestinians” of their refugee status.
According to emails sent out by Kusner, UNRWA “perpetuates a status quo, is corrupt, inefficient and doesn’t help peace.”
Both Kushner and outgoing UN envoy Nikki Haley have endorsed cutting off of US funding for the agency.