UNESCO Halts New Projects After U.S. Pulls Funding

All those world-heritage-sites-to-be will have to wait a little longer until the cultural body can make up its $65-million shortfall.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Oraganisation says it has halted all new spending until the end of the year due to the U.S. pulling its funding for the body after it admitted Palestine as a full member last month. The United States usually pays UNESCO at the end of the year, leaving the organization in a lurch for the next two months. U.S. laws passed in the 1990s mandate that if a UN body recognizes Palestine as a state, that body will immediately lose all American funding. That means that the U.S.’ annual $65-million contribution – 22 per cent of UNESCO’s funding – won’t be coming back anytime soon. UNESCO says that the withdrawal means their travel and communications budgets will take a huge hit, and that any new projects would have to be shelved.

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