Both the Palestinian Authority (PA) and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) continued to face financial trouble after the U.S. cut all funding to Palestinians in 2018. The PA’s financial distress was further amplified by Israel’s withholding of PA tax revenues (see Intra-Palestinian Dynamics). With the U.S. cuts and Israel’s withholding of revenues, other countries sought to alleviate the PA and UNRWA’s financial situation this quarter.
The UNRWA received $6 million from Japan on 4 April for UNRWA projects in Lebanon. On 5 April, Germany contributed with $10.1 million for various UNRWA projects. The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center signed a $1.5 million agreement to provide UNRWA health care services in Lebanon on 30 April. On 4 May, Italy contributed with $2 million for UNRWA health programs in Gaza. Finland and UNRWA signed a 4-year agreement where Finland pledged $21.87 million total for various UNRWA projects on 6 May. On 7 May, New Zealand signed a 3-year commitment to support UNRWA with $1.87 million total. The same day, Norway contributed with $11.5 million for UNRWA emergency services in Syria. By the end of the quarter on 26 June, the UK pledged to support UNRWA with $85.5 million for 2019. On the same day, the European Union (EU) pledged $23.8 million in support of UNRWA. The EU also provided $3.28 million for UNRWA emergency relief in Syria on 28 May. Islamic Relief USA contributed with $2.67 million in support of UNRWA projects in Gaza for vulnerable children and $300,000 for Suhour meals on the 1st day of Ramadan for Palestinians in Gaza.
Canada donated $2.4 million to the UN World Food Programme to support vulnerable families in Gaza and the West Bank.
At an Arab League summit in Cairo on 21 April, members of the Arab League pledged to transfer a total of $100 million per month to help the PA. The PA received $40 million from Saudi Arabia in the beginning of April to contribute to the PA’s budget for February and March. The UK contributed with $11 million to the PA’s Water Authority plans to build a new water desalination plant in Gaza. The EU contributed with $4 million to the PA’s Private Sector Reconstruction Gaza – Agriculture program. The EU also announced a $24 million donation for humanitarian aid to the most vulnerable families in Gaza and the West Bank and contributed with $16.4 million to help pay PA-employed civil servants. On 7 May, Qatar pledged $480 million total in aid for Palestinians: $300 million for PA programs and $180 million for UN programs in Gaza. On May 14, the EU and Ireland contributed with $21.85 million to the PA for aid distribution in Gaza and the West Bank. On 30 May, the EU gave an additional $16.4 million to the PA to help pay wages for civil servants.