After UNRWA’s chief explained that the organization desperately needs additional funding, two Arab states donated $50 million each to the UN agency dedicated to Palestinian refugees.

UNRWA center in West Bank

UNRWA center in West Bank Photo Credit: Wisam Hashlamoun/Flash 90

This week, both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates donated $50 million to UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees. The UN agency expressed its gratitude in separate statements released on Friday.

“This decision will play a vital role in supporting UNRWA’s core services, notably education to over half a million Palestine refugee children in the Middle East,” the agency said in the press release recognizing Riyadh’s donation. “At a time when UNRWA is facing an unprecedented financial crisis, Saudi Arabia’s contribution represents a formidable message of solidarity towards Palestine refugees.”

Earlier this week, UNRWA’s chief said that the agency is suffering due to the American decision to withhold funding. He said that if UNRWA does not raise $200 million soon, it will not be able to care for the Palestinians in Gaza come June.

Shortly after US President Donald Trump threatened to stop funding UNRWA in January, the State Department announced that it will provide less financial aid to the organization. The State Department spokeswoman said at the time that the decision was unrelated to the tensions between Washington and Ramallah over Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. “This is not aimed at punishing anyone,” she stated.