U.S. UNRWA aid nearly at ’07 level

The U.S. contribution for 2008 to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency has reached $148 million.

The total, less than three months into 2008, is just $6 million shy of the overall 2007 spending.

In a notice March 4, the State Department broke down its contributions to the U.N. agency administering relief to Palestinians in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan.

The contribution to the UNRWA general fund has barely increased, from $90.65 million in 2007 to $97 million this year, but contributions to UNRWA emergency appeals have already reached $57 million, compared to $63.5 million for all of 2007.

UNRWA conducts emergency appeals during crises, such as Israel’s current blockade of Gaza, launched in January in a bid to end rocket attacks on Israel’s South.

The United States is the largest single donor to UNRWA.

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