U.S. Government to Give $23,000,000 for Arab Refugee Relief This Year

The United States Government pledged $23,000,000 to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency engaged in providing relief for Arab refugees. The sum constitutes the American contribution for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1959. An announcement to this effect was made yesterday by Senator Bourke B. Hickenlooper, member of the American delegation, at the Ad Hoc Committee of the UN General Assembly.

As in the past, he said, the United States would make payments against this pledge to an extent not exceeding 70 percent of total contributions to UNRWA, In line with this policy, the United States had already deposited for UNRWA’s use the sum of $11,500,800, representing half of its pledge. The United States, he went on, was also prepared to pledge, in addition to the above sums, the amount of $3,750,000 for any resettlement or repatriation activities of UNRWA initiated during the United States fiscal year ending June 30, 1959. This additional contribution would be made to the extent that it did not exceed 70 percent of the total contributions for these specific activities.

In making this offer, Senator. Hickenlooper stressed, the U.S. Government realized “that little significant progress has been made in taking refugees off the relief rolls and in setting them up in conditions of self-support.” He urged that all concerned, “particularly Israel and the Arab states, bend every effort to provide for some more satisfactory means of dealing with the refugee problem than the mere continuation of the present system.”

(The New York Times, in an editorial today, pointing out that the Arab countries are “resisting” the integration of the Palestine refugees, wrote: “It is agreed that the problem of the refugees is one of the thorniest in the whole area of the troubled Middle East. Israel has urged that its solution be made a part of a whole general settlement in the interest of peace. This is sound, as far as it goes, but in the meantime Irritating problems must be solved. The more that can be done in the United Nations to put those problems into the broadest possible context, the better.” Other New York newspapers commented in a similar vein.)

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