EU lawmakers urge US to respect Palestinian funding pledge

BRUSSELS — European Union lawmakers are urging the U.S. to honor its financial pledge to the U.N. refugee agency working with the Palestinians as the agency faces a funding crisis that could affect millions.

In a resolution Thursday, the European Parliament "urges the United States to reconsider its decision and to honor the payment of its entire scheduled contribution to the agency."

The U.S. has been UNRWA's largest donor, contributing one-third of the agency's total budget. But Washington withheld half of the first installment of payments this year, demanding reforms in return for future aid.

The lawmakers welcomed a commitment from Arab League countries to contribute, but called on them to boost their contributions.

UNRWA is seeking $800 million for its emergency operations this year.

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