1. Press Release
  2. Middle East & Iran, Peacebuilding

FCNL Hails Congressional Push to Reverse Trump Administration’s Palestinian Aid Cuts

By Timothy McHugh, October 3, 2018

Washington, DC – The Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) hailed new bicameral efforts to press the Trump administration to reverse its decision to eliminate all U.S. funding for humanitarian assistance to Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.

Contact: Tim McHugh, Friends Committee on National Legislation, media@fcnl.org; 202-903-2515

More than a quarter of the House of Representatives and over one-third of the Senate signed letters opposing the administration´s disastrous policy.

“It’s welcome news that there is growing opposition to President Trump´s disastrous decision to weaponize humanitarian assistance for political purposes," said Diane E. Randall, Executive Secretary of FCNL. "As Quakers, we urge the administration to continue to provide humanitarian aid to Palestinians to help alleviate human suffering and ensure basic needs are met.”

Last week, FCNL and 17 Christian denominations and organizations called on President Trump to restore funding for life-saving programs in the West Bank and Gaza. The letter, signed by Churches for Middle East Peace, Church World Service, and others, warns that the termination of more than $500 million in U.S. aid and UNRWA funding will “cause incalculable harm” and “prove devastating to the Palestinian people and to the prospects of peace.”

The Trump administration’s cuts to Palestinian assistance include over $200 million in USAID funding for nongovernmental organizations in the West Bank and Gaza, $10 million for Israeli-Palestinian people-to-people exchanges, $25 million for the East Jerusalem Hospital Network, and over $300 million for UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestine refugees. The Ramallah Friends School, a leading educational institution in the Palestinian community guided by Quaker principles, is one of the many schools directly impacted by these devastating cuts.

“We applaud the leadership of Representatives David Price (NC-4), Peter Welch (VT-At Large), and Adam Smith (WA-9) as well as Senators Chris Van Hollen (MD), Dianne Feinstein (CA), and Chris Coons (DE) in urging the Trump administration to reverse this reckless move,” said Kate Gould, FCNL Legislative Director for Middle East Policy. “Ending U.S. humanitarian aid will cause mass suffering for millions of the most vulnerable Palestinians.”

The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) has worked for more than a century to promote a just and lasting peace in the Middle East.

Timothy McHugh

  • Director of Media Relations

Tim leads organizational efforts to communicate about issues, victories, priorities, and updates through all available news channels – specifically the major media outlets. He is responsible for providing FCNL staff with opportunities to convey our message – in print and through the airways – to the public and throughout the country. He keeps FCNL issues and staff on the collective radars of reporters and journalists nationwide. Lastly, he runs FCNL several media-focused social media channels.