RSN Fundraising Banner
UN Schools for Palestinians Defy Funding Cuts, Open on Time
Written by <a href="index.php?option=com_comprofiler&task=userProfile&user=22014"><span class="small">Associated Press</span></a>   
Monday, 03 September 2018 12:58

Excerpt: "United Nations schools for Palestinian refugees in Lebanon started the new school year on time on Monday, despite the U.S. decision to cancel funding to the international body's Palestinian relief agency."

A Palestinian refugee student sits inside her classroom as she attends the first day of a new school year, at one of the UNRWA schools, in Beirut, Lebanon, Sept. 3, 2018. (photo: AP)
A Palestinian refugee student sits inside her classroom as she attends the first day of a new school year, at one of the UNRWA schools, in Beirut, Lebanon, Sept. 3, 2018. (photo: AP)


UN Schools for Palestinians Defy Funding Cuts, Open on Time

By Associated Press

03 September 18

 

nited Nations schools for Palestinian refugees in Lebanon started the new school year on time on Monday, despite the U.S. decision to cancel funding to the international body's Palestinian relief agency.

Students were giddy as they arrived at the Haifa Intermediate School in Beirut's Bir Hassan neighborhood on Monday and sat through their first language, history, and math lessons of the year.

Claudio Cordone, director of UNRWA affairs in Lebanon, called it a "joyful day," and called on donor nations to fill the deficit left behind by the U.S. decision announced Friday.

It was a day many thought would not come, at least not on time, as UNRWA faces some of its toughest pressures in its 68-year history. The Trump administration, encouraged by Israel, has expressed deep skepticism over the agency's mission to provide education and social services to over 5 million Palestinian refugees across the Middle East.

UNRWA was founded in 1949 to serve some 700,000 Palestinians who were uprooted from their homes in the war to create Israel.

Palestinians depend on the UNRWA to get by outside their homeland, in countries that treat them as second-class residents with only limited rights.

The agency relies on the U.S. for 30 percent of its budget. But the Trump administration on Friday called UNRWA an "irredeemably flawed operation" and halted $300 million in planned donations on the grounds that it is an obstacle to a settlement between Palestinians and Israel. The agency strongly rejects the characterization.

"Today we can express our deep regret over the announcement from the U.S. that it will not fund the agency after decades of support. And we reject the criticism that the UNRWA schools and its health centers and its emergency assistance program is plagued by defects, and that they cannot be reformed,'' said Cordone.

He said the agency was facing a $217 million deficit.

Rawan al-Hassan, a pupil, said students were acutely aware of the budgetary situation.

"We are happy, it's the first day of school, we're going to see our friends again. But we're not very happy because they're saying that the books are not good. They're preparing us because there's nothing good for us," said al-Hassan.


e-max.it: your social media marketing partner
 

Comments   

A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

 
+3 # jwb110 2018-09-03 22:56
When you say that the US decided to cancel the funding you should tell the truth and say that Trump decided to cancel the funding. Now that the school has opened on time once again Trump has proven that the rest of the world is waking up to the fact that they might just not need the US to make things happen.
 
 
-2 # Manacha 2018-09-04 07:35
. It seems that the article's dual purpose of defiance and slapping the US and the call for other contributions sort of clash with each other. It does not seem to invite other donors unless they also want to slap the US.