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Over 100 US Congressmen Urge Trump to Resume Contributions to UNRWA

© AP Photo / UNRWAPalestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), residents of the besieged Yarmouk refugee camp near Damascus, Syria, queue to receive food supplies (File)
Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), residents of the besieged Yarmouk refugee camp near Damascus, Syria, queue to receive food supplies (File) - Sputnik International
MOSCOW (Sputnik) – A total of 102 US Congress members from the Democratic Party have urged US President Donald Trump to resume contributions to the United Nations Relief Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

"We write to urge you to continue vital US contributions to… UNRWA and bilateral assistance to the Palestinians. Continuing to freeze this aid will harm American interests by exacerbating the threats facing both peoples and reducing the United States' ability to help the Israelis and Palestinians reach a two-state solution," the letter issued on Thursday read.

The news comes amid Washington's decision to withhold $65 million out of $125-million contribution to the agency. The step was taken after the Palestinian leaders had refused to accept any peace plans proposed by the United States as a result of the recognition of the city of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

READ MORE: UN Agency Begins Fundraising After US Slashes Aid for Palestinian Refugees

UNRWA Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl said he would request other donor nations to contribute and start “a global fundraising campaign” aimed at keeping the agency’s schools and clinics for refugees open through 2018.

A Palestinian man stands next to a cart carrying a flour sack distributed by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in Khan Younis refugee camp in the southern Gaza Strip January 3, 2018 - Sputnik International
UNRWA to Appeal to Donors to Help Palestinian Refugees After US Aid Cut
The UNRWA has been providing aid to the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, Jordan and Syria, who fled their homes as a result of Arab-Israeli conflicts, since 1949. The aid includes education, health care and social services. Most of the organization's funding has been ensured by the European countries and the United States.

There are two million people living in the Gaza Strip, where over one million people are dependent on the funds they receive from UNRWA and other humanitarian agencies.

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