Members of Abu Amer family of Palestine living in difficult conditions look out from their slum's window, in Nuseirat Refugee Camp, central Gaza Strip, on Jan. 11, 2018. (Xinhua/Wissam Nassar)
WASHINGTON, Aug. 31 (Xinhua) -- After a trove of funding cuts, the U.S. State Department said here on Friday that the United States will not provide assistance funding any more for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).
According to a statement issued by Heather Nauert, the spokesperson of the State Department, the Trump administration "has carefully reviewed the issue and determined that the United States will not make additional contributions to UNRWA."
Saying that "the United States was no longer willing to shoulder the very disproportionate share of the burden of UNRWA's costs," she said that the overall international response to address the problem "has not been sufficient."
She also attacked the UNRWA for its alleged "budget gap" and "failure to mobilize adequate and appropriate burden sharing."
"The fundamental business model and fiscal practices that have marked UNRWA for years ... is simply unsustainable and has been in crisis mode for many years," she said.
The United States will no longer commit further funding to this "irredeemably flawed" operation, said Nauert. "Palestinians, wherever they live, deserve better than an endlessly crisis-driven service provision model. They deserve to be able to plan for the future."
She added that the United States will intensify dialogue with the United Nations, host governments, and international stakeholders about new models and new approaches to reform the agency, which may "include direct bilateral assistance from the United States and other partners, that can provide today's Palestinian children with a more durable and dependable path towards a brighter tomorrow."
The U.S. State Department said last week that President Donald Trump has ordered it to "redirect" economic aid to the Palestinians that are worthy of more than 200 million U.S. dollars.
The U.S. aid cut came after it threatened to reduce financial support to the Palestinians unless they agree to return to the negotiation table with Israel, which has been stalled for four years.
Palestinian officials said the U.S. move comes in line with President Donald Trump's attempt to ignore the final issues of the Palestinian-Israel peace process, removing the issues of Jerusalem and the refugees "off the table," which he also wrote on his Twitter account after he recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital on Dec. 6, 2017.
The UNRWA said recently it has succeeded in reducing deficit from 446 million dollars to 217 million dollars, but warned that it would have to cut its services because of the deficit.
The UN agency runs over 700 schools serving almost 525,000 children and offers healthcare for some 3.5 million refugees through a network of 150 clinics.
In addition, UNRWA's food and cash assistance program offers some 1.7 million dollars to extremely vulnerable refugees.
Throughout the region, the agency serves 5.3 million Palestinian refugees.
China has formerly urged the international community to help the UNRWA overcome its financial crisis in order to uphold its obligations towards millions of refugees who rely on the UNRWA services, particularly in the Gaza Strip, where the humanitarian crisis deepens.
Earlier in August, China signed an agreement with UNRWA to provide 2.35 million dollars support to the Gaza food program for 2018.