Members of Congress call on UN Ambassador Craft to restart U.S. humanitarian assistance to Palestinians

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April 28, 2020
Statements
April 28, 2020
The Honorable Kelly Craft
Ambassador of the United States of America
799 United Nations Plaza
New York, NY 10017
Dear Ambassador Craft:
As COVID-19 pandemic numbers continue to rise, we write to seek your assistance in the effort to restart U.S. humanitarian assistance to Palestinians, including UNRWA. As you know, the pandemic has now reached the Gaza Strip with cases beginning to inexorably rise in a place with few resources to combat the outbreak. Coupled with the growing number of COVID-19 cases in the West Bank, Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan, the pandemic now poses an unprecedented global health emergency.
It is important that we empower these public health officials, who are deliberately putting themselves in harm’s way for the common good, by providing them the resources they need to address the COVID-19 pandemic. The U.S. government has funding available through its Migration and Refugee Assistance and Economic Support Fund programs for immediate obligation to address this deteriorating humanitarian situation. The administration need only obligate these funds - their use requires neither additional legislative language nor supplemental appropriations.
These funds could be put to instant use supporting the public health response, including the 3,300 health care workers staffing 144 UNRWA health clinics that are now on the front lines in combating this pandemic. UNRWA is working closely with host authorities and the World Health Organization with triage care and protocols in place to identify patients with respiratory symptoms. This funding could also support the six facilities comprising the East Jerusalem Hospital Network, as well as U.S. NGOs engaged in health work.
Thank you for your consideration. We hope you can assist in making these potentially life-saving funds available for immediate obligation.
Sincerely,
Debbie Dingell Jared Huffman
Member of Congress Member of Congress
Raul M. Grijalva Bonnie Watson Coleman
Member of Congress Member of Congress
Bobby L. Rush Peter Welch
Member of Congress Member of Congress
Betty McCollum Ilhan Omar
Member of Congress Member of Congress
James P. McGovern Ruben Gallego
Member of Congress Member of Congress
Mike Doyle Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr.
Member of Congress Member of Congress
Mark Takano Jamie Raskin
Member of Congress Member of Congress
Seth Moulton André Carson
Member of Congress Member of Congress
Pramila Jayapal Alan Lowenthal
Member of Congress Member of Congress
Diana DeGette Rosa DeLauro
Member of Congress Member of Congress
Jahana Hayes Sean Casten
Member of Congress Member of Congress
Dwight Evans Peter A. DeFazio
Member of Congress Member of Congress
Mark Pocan Jan Schakowsky
Member of Congress Member of Congress
Barbara Lee Tom Malinowski
Member of Congress Member of Congress
Ro Khanna Don Beyer
Member of Congress Member of Congress
David E. Price Julia Brownley
Member of Congress Member of Congress
Jason Crow David N. Cicilline
Member of Congress Member of Congress
Jesús G. “Chuy” García Judy Chu
Member of Congress Member of Congress
Deb Haaland Eleanor Holmes Norton
Member of Congress Member of Congress
Ted W. Lieu Jackie Speier
Member of Congress Member of Congress
Joseph P. Kennedy, III Danny K. Davis
Member of Congress Member of Congress
Karen Bass Zoe Lofgren
Member of Congress Member of Congress
Nydia M. Velázquez Jennifer Wexton
Member of Congress Member of Congress
Gerald E. Connolly John Yarmuth
Member of Congress Member of Congress
Anna G. Eshoo Lori Trahan
Member of Congress Member of Congress
Suzanne Bonamici Donald M. Payne, Jr.
Member of Congress Member of Congress
Earl Blumenauer Stephen F. Lynch
Member of Congress Member of Congress
Katherine M. Clark Brenda L. Lawrence
Member of Congress Member of Congress
Gwen Moore Rashida Tlaib
Member of Congress Member of CongressApril 28, 2020
As COVID-19 pandemic numbers continue to rise, Members of Congress call on UN Ambassador Craft to restart U.S. humanitarian assistance to Palestinians, including UNRWA.
 
Letter is below and HERE
 
The Honorable Kelly Craft
Ambassador of the United States of America
799 United Nations Plaza
New York, NY 10017
 
Dear Ambassador Craft:
 
As COVID-19 pandemic numbers continue to rise, we write to seek your assistance in the effort to restart U.S. humanitarian assistance to Palestinians, including UNRWA. As you know, the pandemic has now reached the Gaza Strip with cases beginning to inexorably rise in a place with few resources to combat the outbreak. Coupled with the growing number of COVID-19 cases in the West Bank, Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan, the pandemic now poses an unprecedented global health emergency.
 
It is important that we empower these public health officials, who are deliberately putting themselves in harm’s way for the common good, by providing them the resources they need to address the COVID-19 pandemic. The U.S. government has funding available through its Migration and Refugee Assistance and Economic Support Fund programs for immediate obligation to address this deteriorating humanitarian situation. The administration need only obligate these funds - their use requires neither additional legislative language nor supplemental appropriations.
 
These funds could be put to instant use supporting the public health response, including the 3,300 health care workers staffing 144 UNRWA health clinics that are now on the front lines in combating this pandemic. UNRWA is working closely with host authorities and the World Health Organization with triage care and protocols in place to identify patients with respiratory symptoms. This funding could also support the six facilities comprising the East Jerusalem Hospital Network, as well as U.S. NGOs engaged in health work.
 
Thank you for your consideration. We hope you can assist in making these potentially life-saving funds available for immediate obligation.
 
Sincerely,
 
Debbie Dingell                                     Jared Huffman
Member of Congress                           Member of Congress
 
Raul M. Grijalva                                   Bonnie Watson Coleman
Member of Congress                           Member of Congress
 
Bobby L. Rush                                     Peter Welch
Member of Congress                           Member of Congress
 
Betty McCollum                                   Ilhan Omar
Member of Congress                          Member of Congress
 
James P. McGovern                            Ruben Gallego
Member of Congress                           Member of Congress
 
Mike Doyle                                          Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr.
Member of Congress                          Member of Congress
 
Mark Takano                                       Jamie Raskin
Member of Congress                          Member of Congress
 
Seth Moulton                                       André Carson
Member of Congress                          Member of Congress
 
Pramila Jayapal                                  Alan Lowenthal
Member of Congress                          Member of Congress
 
Diana DeGette                                    Rosa DeLauro
Member of Congress                          Member of Congress
 
Jahana Hayes                                    Sean Casten
Member of Congress                         Member of Congress
 
Dwight Evans                                     Peter A. DeFazio
Member of Congress                         Member of Congress
 
Mark Pocan                                       Jan Schakowsky
Member of Congress                         Member of Congress
 
Barbara Lee                                      Tom Malinowski
Member of Congress                         Member of Congress
 
Ro Khanna                                         Don Beyer
Member of Congress                         Member of Congress
 
David E. Price                                   Julia Brownley
Member of Congress                         Member of Congress
 
Jason Crow                                       David N. Cicilline
Member of Congress                        Member of Congress
 
Jesús G. “Chuy” García                    Judy Chu
Member of Congress                        Member of Congress
 
Deb Haaland                                     Eleanor Holmes Norton
Member of Congress                        Member of Congress
 
Ted W. Lieu                                       Jackie Speier
Member of Congress                        Member of Congress
 
Joseph P. Kennedy, III                      Danny K. Davis
Member of Congress                        Member of Congress
 
Karen Bass                                       Zoe Lofgren
Member of Congress                        Member of Congress
 
Nydia M. Velázquez                         Jennifer Wexton
Member of Congress                       Member of Congress
 
Gerald E. Connolly                           John Yarmuth
Member of Congress                       Member of Congress
 
Anna G. Eshoo                                 Lori Trahan
Member of Congress                        Member of Congress
 
Suzanne Bonamici                           Donald M. Payne, Jr.
Member of Congress                       Member of Congress
 
Earl Blumenauer                              Stephen F. Lynch
Member of Congress                       Member of Congress
 
Katherine M. Clark                           Brenda L. Lawrence
Member of Congress                       Member of Congress
 
Gwen Moore                                    Rashida Tlaib
Member of Congress                       Member of Congress