Anera & IRUSA Launch New Joint Initiatives
November 15, 2022 | Palestine — With funding from Islamic Relief USA, Anera is embarking on two major new projects in Palestine: Women Can 3.0 and WASH V. Women Can 3.0 will help women build up small businesses in Palestine, where unemployment rates are unusually low among women. WASH V will make urgently needed upgrades to vital Palestinian water infrastructure in Gaza.
“IRUSA and Anera’s continuing partnership in Palestine, and particularly in Gaza, has improved the lives of millions of vulnerable women and children through comprehensive programming over the past several years.” Sharif Aly, CEO of Islamic Relief USA. “Our most recent initiative, Women Can 3.0, provides the financial tools and resources necessary to uplift women in their communities and provide a pathway for self-sufficiency through business development.”
Women Can 3.0 will empower 95 Palestinian women-headed families by increasing their financial assets and social well-being. For the first time, Women Can will be working with women in the Jenin and Tulkarem Governorates, as well as women from Gaza. Anera will provide expert assistance in helping the project participants to assess the feasibility of their business proposals and implement a viable plan. The program trains in small enterprise management, supports the creation or development of businesses through assets and equipment, and provides ongoing mentoring. At the conclusion of this iteration, Women Can will have directly benefited an estimated 570 women.
Women Can also includes psychosocial support. Many of the program participants exhibit signs of psychological trauma. The psychosocial support sessions allow women to tell their own stories, include guided deep breathing exercises, and create a mutual support network so women can communicate with and support each other.
In Gaza, WASH V will reduce chronic damage to water systems; end cycles of sewage and storm water flooding; improve access to indoor plumbing in poor communities; and promote sustainable, community-level water, sanitation and hygiene hygiene habits to reduce the risk of infection and waterborne diseases. The activities will include upgrading water networks, constructing, upgrading, or replacing wastewater networks, separating storm water networks from wastewater infrastructure, conducting household plumbing rehabilitations, implementing awareness campaigns, and distributing hygiene kits. It will directly benefit an estimated 89,075 people. Anera has implemented water and sanitation projects in Gaza with IRUSA funding since 2014.
“Our strong partnership with IRUSA has directly helped over half a million Gazans by improving water quality, ensuring safe waste water drainage and reducing the risk of flooding,” says Anera Water Program Manager Sami Mater. “Just recently Gaza was hit by a rainstorm and I received calls from many residents of Beit Hanoun, thanking IRUSA and Anera for the storm water project we recently completed, which protected them from the flooding that has become common over the past several years. Together, IRUSA and Anera are key players in the water and sanitation sector in Gaza.”
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Since 1968, Anera has helped refugees and others hurt by conflicts in the Middle East live with dignity and purpose. Anera, which has no political or religious affiliation, works on the ground with partners in the West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem, Lebanon, and Jordan. We mobilize resources for immediate humanitarian relief and for sustainable health, education, and economic development efforts. Our staff are from the communities they serve, navigating the politics that constrict progress to get help where it’s needed most. We will keep building better lives until hope finds its way in the Middle East.