The Biden administration will give $235 million in aid to the Palestinians, restoring the cash flow President Donald Trump ended.
This includes $75 million in “economic and development assistance in the West Bank and Gaza,” $10 million for “peacebuilding programs” through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and $150 million in “humanitarian assistance” for the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).
The State Department says in a statement: All assistance will be provided consistent with U.S. law. Economic assistance includes support for small and medium enterprises’ recovery from the effects of COVID-19; support for needy households to access basic human needs, such as food and clean water; and assistance for Palestinian civil society. A portion of this funding will support the East Jerusalem Hospital Network, as it continues to provide necessary and life-saving treatments to Palestinians. This funding is in addition to the $15 million in humanitarian assistance to address the COVID-19 pandemic and food insecurity the United States announced in March.
The United States is resuming support for UNRWA’s services, including education for over 500,000 Palestinian boys and girls, thereby providing hope and stability in UNRWA’s five fields of operation in Lebanon, Jordan, Syria and the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Funding to UNRWA also provides critical COVID-19 assistance, including healthcare, medicine, and medical supplies, as well as cash and food assistance to families severely impacted by COVID-19. The United States is deeply committed to ensuring that our partnership with UNRWA promotes neutrality, accountability, and transparency. As with all of our engagements with UN institutions, the United States needs to be at the table to ensure that the reforms advance efficiencies and are in accord with our interests and values.
U.S. foreign assistance for the Palestinian people serves important U.S. interests and values. It provides critical relief to those in great need, fosters economic development, and supports Israeli-Palestinian understanding, security coordination and stability. It also aligns with the values and interests of our allies and partners. The United States is committed to advancing prosperity, security, and freedom for both Israelis and Palestinians in tangible ways in the immediate term, which is important in its own right, but also as a means to advance towards a negotiated two-state solution.
The United States encourages other donors to support programs and activities that work toward a common goal of stability and progress for Israelis and Palestinians alike.