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Congress Gets Plan on Reorganization of U.N. Aid to Arab Refugees

Rep. Leonard Farbstein, New York Democrat, today introduced a resolution proposing reorganization of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency to speed absorption and employment of the Palestine Arab refugees and purge relief roles of ineligibles.

Under the Farbstein plan, as outlined in a House speech today, UNRWA would cease administering the program. The responsibility and funds to discharge it would go directly to the Arab governments after a census determined the number legally eligible for rations. United States funds would be contributed only if Arab governments used finances effectively to put the refugees to work.

Rep. Farbstein said that despite total expenditures exceeding $500,000,000, of which sum $350,000,000 came from the United States, UNRWA rolls increase because of failure to eliminate those who have died and others no longer eligible because they are gainfully employed. He pointed out that UNRWA continues to provide rations to refugees who are undergoing military training in a Palestine Liberation Army.

While refugees are being absorbed gradually into the economies of the host countries, the number on the UNRWA roles nevertheless continues to grow, he said. “It is wrong to continue the present system because it perpetuates and freezes the status quo, ” Rep. Farbstein told the House. “It serves the political objectives of the Arab states and preserves the Arab refugees as a separate and distinct grouping in preparation for a new war against Israel. Under the status quo, the Arab governments are allowed to evade their own obligations to the refugees and to use them as pawns in a political and propaganda campaign.”

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