Trump administration is cutting $65 million from Palestinian aid programs, official says

A Palestinian boy stands leaning on to sacks of food aid provided by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugees (UNRWA) in the town of Rafah, in the Southern Gaza Strip, Aug. 22, 2017.


WASHINGTON — A U.S. official says the Trump administration is cutting tens of millions of dollars in funding for the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees, slashing this year's first contribution by more than half.

The official says the U.S. is making additional donations contingent on major changes to the organization.

The official said the U.N. Relief and Works Agency was notified Tuesday the U.S. is withholding $65 million of the planned $125 million installment.

The U.S. is UNWRA's largest donor, supplying nearly 30 percent of the budget. The agency focuses on providing health care, education and social services to Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon.

The official wasn't authorized to speak publicly about the U.S. letter to UNRWA and demanded anonymity.