|Have questions? Visit UNRWA's Washington liaison office|
If (to borrow the laughable claims made by its many supporters) UNRWA's work is so important, if it brings us closer to peace, if it restores dignity to the lives of dispossessed and destitute Arabs, then why, when you look at the top twenty list of donors to this agency that exists entirely from donations, do you see that only one is Arab (the Islamic Development Bank). What is it about UNRWA that the Arab states understand better than the nations and tax-payers of the West?
Arab leaders, many of whom preside over phenomenal cash resources, (a) simply don't give to the strange UN agency that exists specifically to support the most beloved cause that exists in the Arab world - the Palestinians. And (b) they fail to honour their pledges (as we noted above) to fund the one organization that can do something to relieve the genuine suffering of the Syrians, tens of thousands of whom have been killed in the past two years' Arab-on-Arab fighting and millions of whom are now desperate to find shelter.
The United States donates US$ 123m to UNRWA | 18 June 2013 | Amman | The United States announced a new contribution of US$ 123 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), which will enable the Agency to continue its work serving a population of some five million registered Palestine refugees in the region. This latest donation brings the total U.S. contribution to UNRWA in 2013 to US$ 244.5 million... U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Kelly Clements reaffirmed the United States support for UNRWA services, saying: “The United States has been proud to work with UNRWA for many years. We remain committed to supporting their efforts to help Palestinian refugees receive the services that they need.” ... For more information, please contact: Christopher Gunness, UNRWA Spokesperson, Mobile: +972 (0)54 240 2659, Office: +972 (0)2 589 0267 firstname.lastname@example.org [UNRWA]
"Palestine refugees are people whose normal place of residence was Palestine between June 1946 and May 1948, who lost both their homes and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict." [Source:UNRWA]
With whom is it liaisoning? Mostly Congress, it turns out. U.S. law forbids the United Nations from lobbying Congress, but as we learned with Newt Gingrich “lobbying” or a “lobbyist” is in the eye of the beholder. UNRWA employs two full-time staffers in D.C., both of whom have loads of experience on Capitol Hill. Chris McGrath is a former aide for Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.); his boss, Matthew Reynolds, worked in legislative affairs for the State Department. I was assured no “lobbying” goes on, but they do meet virtually nonstop with lawmakers — appropriators are key — to answer questions about how taxpayer dollars are spent, why UNRWA’s work is important and how it makes sure money isn’t going to terrorists. It seems American tax dollars are going, in part, to fund this office that in effect makes sure Congress doesn’t get fed up and cut off the money flow.But at the end, we're still wondering whether anyone in Congress asks the simple questions we ask here, and whether they get answers that make sense. But to be really candid, even if they did, when you look at who does give money to the UNRWA's bottomless pit, and who does not (and we mean the Arabs), all that explaining just stops working for us.
In this ongoing war, UNRWA is not part of the solution. It's central to the problem. And the US is ensuring it stays that way. Does anyone really know why?