06:10 GMT +319 October 2018
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    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

    UN Agency Begins Fundraising After US Slashes Aid for Palestinian Refugees

    © REUTERS / Ibraheem Abu Mustafa
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    UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) - The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) has launched an international fundraising campaign following the US decision to dramatically reduce its financial contribution to the agency, Commissioner General Pierre Krahenbuhl told reporters on Monday.

    "I was today in Gaza to launch a campaign entitled 'Dignity is Priceless' which we launched following the announcement by the United States of its reduced contribution to UNRWA," Krahenbuhl told reporters via video conference.

    The United States has reduced its contribution for 2018 to $60 million, a significant decrease from the $363 million the country provided last year, Krahenbuhl said.

    READ MORE: UNRWA to Appeal to Donors to Help Palestinian Refugees After US Aid Cut

    The agency is reaching out to UN member states and other parties to seek alternative sources of funding for its operations, including vital education and health care services UNRWA provides in the Middle East, he said.

    US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert on Tuesday announced that Washington decided to freeze $65 million in funding for the UN agency, but would provide $60 million to sustain schools and health facilities.

    The US decision comes after US President Donald Trump wrote a Twitter post on January 2 saying that Palestinians lack willingness to hold peace talks with Israel and have no respect for the United States despite the massive financial aid provided by Washington.

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    Tags:
    Refugees, cuts, aid, United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), Palestine, United States
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