U.N. Relief Agency Lays Off Staff In Gaza And West Bank After Trump Cuts Aid by the Forward

U.N. Relief Agency Lays Off Staff In Gaza And West Bank After Trump Cuts Aid

Image by Getty Images

The United Nations said Wednesday it had been forced to lay off more than 250 Palestinian employees in Gaza and the West Bank and cut services after the United States slashed hundreds of millions of dollars in funding, the Washington Post reported.

The U.N. Relief and Works Agency, which provides assistance for Palestinian refugees, said it had cut 154 employees in the West Bank and 113 in Gaza. About 580 other staff members in Gaza will be moved to part-time contracts, and the budget for its community mental health services will be reduced.

The United States provided just $60 million for the agency this year, compared with $360 million last year. The reduction in funding came after President Trump criticized the money provided to the Palestinians even though they were “no longer willing to talk peace.”

The agency, which only handles Palestinian refugees and does not deal with refugees from the rest of the world, has said it may have to cut essential health and education programs and delay the start of the school year for the 526,000 children in its schools.

The cuts in Gaza are “making an intolerable humanitarian crisis even more life-threatening,” said UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness.

Despite cutting the agency’s funding, the Trump administration recently discussed initiatives to relieve Gaza’s economic crisis, as plans for peace talks get put on hold.

Alyssa Fisher is a news writer at the Forward. Email her at fisher@forward.com, or follow her on Twitter at @alyssalfisher


U.N. Relief Agency Lays Off Staff After Trump Cuts Aid

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

U.N. Relief Agency Lays Off Staff In Gaza And West Bank After Trump Cuts Aid

Thank you!

This article has been sent!