In the last hours of the outgoing administration, Obama’s office sent $221 million to the Palestinian Authority despite Republican opposition.
Congress was notified of the release of funds Friday morning just before Donald Trump took the oath of office.
Congress had initially approved the funding for Palestine in budget years 2015 and 2016, but at least two Republican lawmakers, Ed Royce of California and Kay Granger of Texas, had placed holds on it. A Congressional hold is not legally binding and can be overruled by the executive branch.
The money will be used for humanitarian aid in the West Bank and Gaza and to support political and security changes.
The Obama administration also approved and sent another $6 million in foreign affairs spending: $4 million for climate change programs and $1.25 million for U.N. organizations.
The $4 million is earmarked for climate programs, such as clean energy projects, cutting greenhouse gas emissions and creating sustainable landscapes.
The $1.25 million is to be used for voluntary contributions to the U.N. Peacebuilding Fund; the U.N. Special Coordinator on improving the U.N. response to sexual exploitation and abuse; the Montreal Protocol Secretariat, which oversees the protection of the ozone layer; the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights; and the U.N. System Staff College.
Also released was $1.05 million in funding for the State Department’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan office and the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs.