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  • 14:40 - 4 May 2020

Tlaib: Trump administration must release all approved funds to help Palestinians fight the coronavirus

West Bank, (Drah-Agencies)- 

Rashida Tlaib, a Democrat, represents Michigan’s 13th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives called on the Trump administration to release all funds appropriated by Congress to support the well-being of the Palestinian people and restore the U.S. relationship with UNRWA.

Rashida Tlaib, and Alan Lowenthal, also a Democrat, represents California’s 47th Congressional District believed that humanity, dignity, safety and rights of all people should be protected.

They noted in a report published by Washington Post on May 2nd that division and nationalism undermining the global response to the coronavirus pandemic.

They pointed out that the Palestinian people are particularly vulnerable at this moment. In 2018, the Trump administration eliminated funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), the international organization charged with addressing the humanitarian needs of Palestinian refugees.

 They noted that covid-19 does not recognize borders, thus without aid and assistance, the Palestinian people will be greatly affected by this health crisis.

Israeli tight restrictions on the flow of goods and people and the long-term blockade against Gaza have left the Palestinian health system unequipped to cope with a large-scale pandemic.

They noted that these factors all raise the risk posed by the coronavirus. The US administration’s failure to provide appropriated humanitarian assistance has only exacerbated these tragic conditions.

They said that from withholding critical funding from the World Health Organization to failing to coordinate policies with its closest allies, the Trump administration has pursued counterproductive policies which make the world less safe.

This failure is brought into stark relief in the West Bank and Gaza, where the Trump administration continues to withhold the vast majority of humanitarian assistance to Palestinians — including all funding to UNRWA and $75 million in humanitarian and development aid, appropriated with bipartisan support by Congress.

"The world faces an unprecedented threat, which no nation can face alone. The need for global cooperation, for transparency, for mutual aid and for trust has never been clearer. There can be no return to normal, no global recovery, as long as the coronavirus disease continues to rage uncontrolled through vulnerable regions, "they said.

They concluded that the impact of the pandemic spreading throughout the West Bank and Gaza would be, first and foremost, a humanitarian catastrophe and a moral failure. It would also profoundly threaten the prospects for a just and lasting peace, and the stability of the entire region. The Trump administration paradoxically recognized that acting to protect Palestinian lives is indeed a key interest of the United States, when it moved to provide $5 million to fight the disease, but this effort remains insultingly insufficient.

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