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Trump’s COVID-19 aid for Palestinians, Yemenis falls short of Congress’ directives

The Donald Trump administration’s new COVID-19 aid for Palestinians and Yemenis represents a tiny portion of the funding Congress actually appropriated to help both peoples.
A healthcare worker checks the body temperature of Palestinian workers returning from Israel, amid concerns over the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), outside the Israeli-controlled Meitar checkpoint, near Hebron in the Israeli-occupied West Bank April 7, 2020. Picture taken April 7, 2020. REUTERS/Mussa Qawasma - RC280G9AG6MG

The Donald Trump administration is touting a small amount of COVID-19 assistance for both Palestinians and Yemenis as part of a major increase in coronavirus aid for several Middle Eastern countries. There’s just one problem — the aid for Palestine and Yemen falls short of the funding Congress actually appropriated for fiscal year 2020.

The State Department on Thursday announced $5 million in new coronavirus aid for the West Bank and Gaza as well as another $500,000 for Yemen as part of a $508 million emergency package. But that aid comprises only 7% of the Palestinian economic and humanitarian assistance and 1% of the Yemeni stabilization assistance that Congress has appropriated for fiscal year 2020.

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