Qatar on March 15, 2017 announced a $50 million donation to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).
The decision to make the donation came through during an extraordinary ministerial meeting of the UNRWA, which was held in Rome, Italy in the presence of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
The Gulf nation also announced that it has continued to finance projects implemented by the UNRWA, especially in the education and health sectors.
• The move comes after the announcement from the United States in January 2018 that it would be withholding aid worth $65m from the UN relief agency for Palestinians.
• The United States announced that it would be suspending more than half of the total funding that it was scheduled to provide to the UNRWA, which provides humanitarian aid, education, social services and medical care to the Palestinian refugees in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon.
• US President Donald Trump had said that the US could cut aid if Palestinians rejected peace efforts with Israel.
• Following the slash in funding, the UNRWA launched an urgent financial appeal for its emergency programmes in Syria and the occupied Palestinian territories.
• The UNRWA stated that it needed $800m to provide life-saving aid including food, water, shelter and medical assistance.
• In February 2018, Qatar announced the distribution of 9 million dollars of emergency aid of medicines, medical supplies, foodstuff, and fuel to operate hospital generators in the Gaza Strip, a self-governing Palestinian territory bordered by Egypt and Israel.
• The Gaza strip along with the West Bank constitutes the Palestinian territories claimed by the Palestinians as the State of Palestine.
• The two territories are however, separated from each other by the Israeli territory.
• Qatar is facing a nine-month boycott by its Gulf allies, which accused the nation of supporting extremist political movements in the Middle East. The nation has, however, categorically denied the allegations.