File Photo: United Nations Relief and Works Agency(UNRWA) in Gaza. REUTERS
Egypt welcomed on Thursday the Biden administration’s decision to restore economic, developmental, and humanitarian assistance for Palestinians, including funding for the United Nations Relief and Work Agency (UNRWA) that supports Palestinian refugees.
The US decision “is set to contribute to alleviating the suffering of the Palestinians and securing financial support in the face of unprecedented economic and humanitarian challenges,” the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.
The Biden administration's decision reverses a 2018 move by then-president Donald Trump to halt funding to the UNRWA for rejecting his so-called "Deal of the Century".
The decision on Wednesday calls for $150 million through the UNRWA, $75 million in US economic and development assistance and $10 million for peace-building programs.
The ministry lauded the US move, saying it indicates the US administration’s keenness to interact with the issues of the region.
The decision will also “enable the UNRWA to provide the necessary services for the Palestinian people,” the foreign ministry added.
Former US president Trump blocked almost all aid to Palestinians, including through the UNRWA, which has served as a platform for support to Palestinian refugees since it was founded in 1949.
Trump’s move came after Palestinians rejected his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and relocate the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a move that was also rejected by most of the international community.
Egypt has maintained its support for the establishment of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza - with East Jerusalem as its capital - as a necessary pre-condition for ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.