European Nations are Proving Washington’s Belief that the US can Reduce UN Funding Burden
That the American people don’t have to out-fund the rest of the world is becoming apparent in the aftermath of President Trump’s heavy cutback in funding to the United Nations Relief Works Agency. Since the reduction of more than half of the US contribution to the organization that provides for Palestinian refugees, Russia, nine European nations and Kuwait have increased and fast-tracked their contributions to UNRWA. Out of a $1 billion budget last year, the United States provided $360 million. This year, Washington will put up only $60 million. Calls of a dire humanitarian emergency situation have prompted those nations to increase their gifts and to advance the funding dates. The Palestinian Authority itself survives on contributions from donor nations, but faces the failure of many who have pledged from actually forwarding the funding. It also suffers from the growing trend of donor nations to support specific humanitarian organizations and specific projects as a defense to charges that corruption is rife in the Abbas government. The nations seeking to shore-up the UNRWA coffers are Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Norway, Germany, Belgium, Ireland, Russia, and Kuwait.