U.S. keeps half of U.N. relief agency budget frozen

A boy sits near the sacks of flours during a food aid distribution by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). Photo: Ali Jadallah / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

The Trump administration has decided to continue freezing $65 million of the annual funding it gives the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, which provides aid to Palestinian refugees — but it will release $60 million to the organization for "urgent humanitarian needs," U.S. officials say.

Between the lines: The decision was a compromise. Axios reported earlier this month that the Trump administration froze $125 million of the annual funding to UNRWA, which was supposed to be transferred to the organization by Jan. 1, in retaliation for Palestinian protests against President Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.