Congress Blocks Funding Meant For Food Aid, Health Care To Palestinian Authority

“Congress has … blocked $200 million in aid to the Palestinian Authority [PA] since August, in a move a PA official described as ‘collective punishment’ for its United Nations bid” for statehood, GlobalPost reports (10/1). “The economic package is separate from security aid, which the U.S. lawmakers say would be counterproductive to block,” Agence France-Presse writes (10/2).

“The funds, intended for food aid, health care, and infrastructure projects, were supposed to have been transferred within the U.S. financial year,” which ended on Saturday, the Guardian reports. “The Obama administration is reportedly negotiating with congressional leaders to unlock the aid,” the newspaper writes, adding, “USAID has already started scaling back its aid operations in the West Bank and Gaza, and there are fears it may be forced to end all humanitarian work and distribution of financial support to the Palestinian Authority by January” (10/1).