Trump’s cut to funding for Palestinian refugees could lead to disaster | Mick Dumper

Although a final decision is still pending, the loss of UN money would have a catastrophic affect on Middle East security in both the short and long term

Having survived the recent cabinet reshuffle the international development secretary, Penny Mordaunt, is confronted with the biggest headache of her short ministerial career: the fallout of the US intention to cut funding to UNRWA, which constitutes one of the most serious challenges to UK policies in the Middle East.

Donald Trump’s threat to cut financial assistance to the UN agency specifically responsible for Palestinian refugees will be a disaster not only for the refugees but also for Israel and neighbouring countries. It does not advance US interests either. Provoked by the Palestinian rejection of Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of the state of Israel, it takes the notion cutting off one’s nose to spite one’s face to a completely new diplomatic level. Although a final decision by the US is still pending, the loss of the regular subvention of $350m for UNRWA would be catastrophic for the region, with immense military and strategic implications for the US and its allies, including the UK.

Related: Trump threatens to cut US aid to Palestinians

The UK’s long-term investment in the human capital of UNRWA are seriously under threat by these actions

Continue reading…