Anera welcomes resumption of US aid to Palestinians
April 15, 2021 | Washington, DC — Anera welcomes the recent announcement by the U.S. State Department that U.S. Government assistance to Palestinians will resume. Vulnerable Palestinian communities in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza, and Palestinian refugees in neighboring countries, face many pressing challenges, exacerbated by the global coronavirus pandemic. This and other international support is essential to helping Palestinian families and communities address the hardships and challenges, and build livelihoods and sustainable futures.
The announced initial $235 million in U.S. aid to Palestinians includes $75 million from the economic support fund for humanitarian and development programming, as well as additional funding for UNRWA – the UN agency founded in 1949 to support Palestinian refugees – and other programs. The announcement by the Biden administration reinstates vital funding to address urgent humanitarian and development needs, including the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza.
The U.S. assistance will be directed through international organizations (UN and NGOs) rather than any Palestinian governing authorities. Anera has partnered with USAID over many years to implement projects to improve water and sanitation systems, construct and expand educational facilities, build community infrastructure such as markets, parks and women and youth centers, foster economic development and deliver urgent humanitarian aid.
Sean Carroll, president and CEO of Anera, said,
“We look forward to resuming Anera’s decades of productive partnership with USAID soon. There are several high-priority development needs where international support can make a real difference, including career accelerator programs to address high youth unemployment, providing women with the skills and resources they need to earn an independent income, and expanding the network of preschools and teachers so that all Palestinian children have an opportunity to attend school during the critical early childhood years.”
Anera has partnered with USAID for over four decades to implement humanitarian response, infrastructure, and education programs. Most recently, USAID funded Anera’s six-year, $100 million Palestinian Community Infrastructure Development project to build badly needed community infrastructure in the West Bank and Gaza. Through the program, Anera completed 47 projects that improved services for 383,845 Palestinians in 50 marginalized communities across Palestine. The program was in the final year of implementation when funding was stopped in January 2019. Up to $28 million remains unspent and Anera hopes that with the resumption of U.S. government funding to Palestinians the rest of that program can be implemented.
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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.