US to give Palestine $5 million in coronavirus aid

US to give Palestine $5 million in coronavirus aid
2 min read
18 April, 2020
The US has announced that it will provide aid to the Palestinian Authority in an effort to stop the spread of Covid-19.

The US announced the news [Getty]

The United States has announced that it intends to provide $5 million to the Palestinian Authority to help fight the spread of coronavirus.

“I am very pleased the US is providing $5M for Palestinian hospitals and households to meet immediate, life-saving needs in combating COVID-19,” US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said on Twitter.

This comes in the wake of steep funding cuts from Donald Trump’ s administration.

The US slashed more than $200 million in aid to Palestine after a review requested by Trump in August 2018, and he also cut financial aid for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA).

Palestinians imprisoned by Israel cause grave concerns for UN

The Secretary-General of the UN has expressed worry for Palestinians imprisoned by Israel as the novel coronavirus disease continues to spread.

Antonio Guterres on Friday said he has asked the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nikolay Mladenov, to urge Israel to ensure the protection of Palestinian prisoners during the coronavirus outbreak.

Guterres stressed that Israel must carry out coronavirus tests on the sick prisoners and to socially distance them from other prisoners because they are vulnerable to catching the deadly disease.

Guterres' letter was in response to a letter sent by the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO)'s secretary general, urging world leaders to pressure Israel.

In the letter sent on 30 March, Saeb Erekat said Israel, as an occupying power, has the responsibility to protect the Palestinian detainees and to release those who are considered vulnerable, including the elderly, sick and women, according to Palestinian Authority's official news agency Wafa.

"We reiterate our demand for the release of all Palestinian political prisoners, jailed for their resistance to occupation and apartheid.

The coronavirus pandemic only further underlines the present urgency of this demand," Samidoun, a Palestinian prisoner solidarity group said in a statement.

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