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U.S. gives Palestinians $15 million for COVID-19 response: statement

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Biden administration is giving the Palestinians $15 million to aid in their COVID-19 response in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the U.S. State Department said in a statement on Thursday.

The funds from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) would help support efforts by the Catholic Relief Services in healthcare facilities as well as address food insecurity, the statement said.

In the Israeli-occupied West Bank, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh welcomed the U.S. financial support to the Palestinian Authority’s efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement published by the official Palestinian news agency WAFA, Shtayyeh described it as “an important step in the right direction to reshape the relationship with the U.S. administration, which had stopped during Trump’s rule of the White House.”

Reporting by Susan Heavey in Washington and Ali Sawafta in Ramallah; Editing by Chris Reese and Howard Goller

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