U.N. Agency for Palestinian Refugees Resolves Strike in Jordan

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) —
Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi (U.S. State Department)

The U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees reached an agreement with its employees in Jordan to end a strike launched on Sunday.

The agency’s more than 6,000 workers went on strike Sunday, paralyzing its schools, health care and garbage-collection services in refugee camps. Classes were canceled for some 120,000 students in Jordan.

But late in the day, UNRWA spokesman Amjad Obeid said the Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi brokered an agreement between the agency and employee unions to raise salaries by up to $140 per month starting in 2020.

Obeid said that UNRWA employees will return to work on Monday.

The U.N. Relief and Works Agency, known as UNRWA, is dealing with a budget crunch after an unprecedented loss of all funding from the United States, its largest donor.

The Trump administration cut all funding to UNRWA earlier this year, leaving the agency with a $211 million shortfall in its budget. Some of those funds have been recouped by other donor countries, but the agency’s finances remain precarious.

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