January 19, 2018 / 7:33 PM / in 10 months

U.S. funding hold will hurt U.N. effort to help Palestinian refugees - Russia's Lavrov

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told a U.N. news conference on Friday that the U.S. decision to withhold funds for a U.N. agency that assists Palestinians would seriously undermine efforts to meet the needs of refugees.

“This decision ... undermines in a serious way the efforts to satisfy the needs of Palestinian refugees in the region,” Lavrov said through a translator. “We’ll consult all stakeholders and we’ll see what we can do.”

The United States said this week it had decided to pay the U.N. Relief and Works Agency $60 million but was putting a hold on another $65 million it had been expected to offer. The U.S. State Department also said it would not provide an additional $45 million in food aid it had pledged for Palestinians.

Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Writing by David Alexander; Editing by Lisa Lambert

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