Rubio Targets UN Funding in New Antiterrorism Bill

Rubio Targets UN Funding in New Antiterrorism Bill

Mateo Guillamont
Mateo Guillamont
March 14, 2024

 US Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) filed a new bill this week that would halt all US funding to the UN. 

The bill comes after the Israeli defense forces (IDF)unveiled UN agencies’ employees’ collaboration with Hamas during the October 7 attacks. 

According to the IDF, a dozen members of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRW) directly participated in the October 7 Hamas terrorist attacks on Israel.

The IDF also claimed nearly half of UNRWA’s tens of thousands of employees have direct and indirect links to Hamas. 

The US halted all funding for UNRWA following the IDF report.

However, President Biden has directed the US military  directly engage in aid delivery operations throughout the Gaza strip. 

If Senator Rubio’s bill passes, the bill would permanently prohibit the US to fund any UN operations until the former receives assurances that the ladder will not distribute funds in ways that could be intercepted by terrorist organizations.

The US has granted hundreds of millions of dollars to UNRWA, which in 2022 reported a budget of $1.17 billion. 

Since President Joe Biden took office, the US has granted UNRWA and associated entities over half a billion dollars in assistance. 

According to Rubio’s office, the Stop Funding Global Terrorists Act would ensure the U.S. Secretary of State remains diligent in tracking the final destination of UN funding provided by the US.

The US is the UN’s largest funder, annually providing hundreds of millions in funding. 

However, such funding has recently gone under scrutiny, given reports of terrorist groups being the beneficiaries of such funds. 

Rubio also cited Afghanistan's Taliban allegedly benefiting from UN funds as motivating his bill. 

“American taxpayer dollars should not benefit terrorist organizations, like the Taliban. Unfortunately, we are seeing this scenario play out today, in real time,” said Rubio.

The US has continued providing financial assistance to Afghanistan despite the Taliban’s recent invasion of the country.

 The total amount of US funding for Afghanistan is opaque, as US funds are disbursed through UN agencies and UN-related Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) independently operating in Afghanistan. 


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Mateo Guillamont

Mateo Guillamont

Mateo is a Miami-based political reporter covering national and local politics

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