Photo Credit: Majdi Fathi/TPS
Gazans hold a rally for UNRWA. Nov 27, 2019.

The United States announced that will be providing $99 million in funding to the United Nations Relief Works Agency (UNRWA), the world body’s agency that helps maintain the refugee status of the descendants of Arabs who were displaced when the surrounding Arab states attacked Israel. No other refugees in the world pass on their refugee status to their unborn descendants.

According to the U.S. State Department’s Population, Refugees, and Migrations Bureau, the funds will “provide education, health care, and emergency relief to hundreds of thousands of Palestinian children and families during a time of need.”

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The announcement is part of the Biden administration’s efforts to restore funding that was largely severed under the Trump administration due to concerns over anti-Semitism within the U.N. Agency. In particular, UNRWA has been accused of teaching anti-Semitic materials in its educational curriculum as well as inciting violence against Israel.

In September, the head of UNRWA, Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini, admitted that hate and glorification of violence were being taught in UNRWA-run schools and promised to address the situation.

Despite the funding promises by the Biden administration, the agency has had a significant budget shortfall with Lazzarini warning in November that it would have to cut staff.

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