Government minister ‘deeply concerned’ over U.S. cuts to Palestinian aid

Government minister ‘deeply concerned’ over U.S. cuts to Palestinian aid

Alistair Burt voices worry about the impact of American cuts to aid programmes in the Middle East

Alistair Burt
Alistair Burt

The Government is “deeply concerned” about the impact of America’s decision to withhold tens of millions of dollars from Palestinian aid programmes, the Middle East minister has said.

Alistair Burt said there were concerns about the effect potential cuts would have on stability in the region, and that Britain would continue to support the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).

It comes after Donald Trump’s administration notified the agency that it would withhold $65 million (£47 million) of a planned $125 million (£90 million) funding instalment.

During International Development questions in the Commons, Labour’s Andy Slaughter (Hammersmith) said: “The US announcement overnight of the largest cut in aid to Palestinian refugees in 70 years follows the Israeli government’s ban on 20 international organisations entering Israel, including three from the UK.

“Does this concern the Government and what does it intend to do about it?”

Mr Burt replied: “UNRWA has a unique role to protect and provide essential services to five million Palestinian refugees.

“We are deeply concerned about the impact of potential cuts in US funding on stability in the region and the continuity of UNRWA’s vital services: we will go on supporting them.”

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