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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - WASHINGTON — The United States on Thursday announced $15 million in humanitarian assistance for Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the State Department said in a statement.
“The US Agency for International Development (USAID) is providing these funds to address the most urgent, life-saving humanitarian needs in the West Bank and Gaza,” the statement read.
The aid announcement marks a shift in the US policy with regard to the Palestinians.
The previous US administration led by President Donald Trump suspended the US aid to the UNRWA, the UN agency that helps Palestinian refugees, and halted other grants.
“With this assistance, USAID is supporting Catholic Relief Services’ COVID-19 response efforts in health care facilities and affected communities throughout the West Bank and Gaza.”
“This assistance is also supporting emergency food assistance programming in communities facing food insecurity, which has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. This small step in advancing the well-being of the Palestinian people is fully in keeping with American values,” the statement added.
During a meeting of the UN Security Council on Thursday, US Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield framed the Biden administration’s $15 million assistance package as one that would “bring more stability and security to both Israelis and Palestinians alike.”
The US said that it is also making efforts to provide vaccines to people living in the Palestinian territories among others.
The State Department said in the statement that the US has so far has provided an initial $2 billion contribution to Gavi, the global vaccine alliance, to support vaccination for people around the world through the COVAX, and in mid-March, the Palestinian Authority received the first batch of vaccines that included 168,000 AstraZeneca and 37,440 Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine doses for the West Bank and Gaza. — SG
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