The people living in the West Bank and Gaza are facing a humanitarian crisis. The Trump Administration’s recent freeze on all aid to Palestinians, combined with the threats of serious cuts to future economic assistance, puts the millions who rely on U.S. and UN assistance to meet their daily needs at immediate risk. There have been bipartisan calls to reinstate this funding from former senior government officials, and we urge you to raise up your voice as well. Congress must put pressure on the Administration to maintain our historical commitment to humanitarian assistance to Palestinians.
As this Congressional Research Service report indicates, aid has declined in recent years, and, “the Administration has not obligated any FY2017- or FY2018-appropriated bilateral economic assistance for the Palestinians to date," meaning that the Administration is withholding two years’ worth of funding for aid that has already been approved by Congress. Without this Congressionally approved financial assistance, USAID and the non-governmental organizations it supports will be unable to provide economic and humanitarian aid in Gaza and the West Bank, aid which is helping keep people alive.
This July, General Convention passed resolution B021, calling upon the U.S. to maintain its historic commitment to alleviating the poverty of Palestinians and to restore in full the planned 2018 funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which services more than 5 million Palestinians in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. This resolution also calls upon the United States Government to lift its funding freeze on United States Agency for International Development (USAID) programs which aid Palestinians.