Funding and Staff Cuts in Palestine, but Steadfast as Ever
FROM A PRESS RELEASE PUBLISHED ON ANERA’S WEBSITE IN JANUARY 2019
USAID’s abrupt decision to end all of its West Bank/Gaza programming by January 31, 2019 means that Anera’s Palestinian Community Infrastructure Development (PCID) program will be ending 11 months earlier than scheduled. As a result, over 100,000 Palestinians could be deprived of promised access to safe water, health facilities, education and playgrounds. This decision also puts on hold a 40-plus-year partnership between Anera and USAID.
Anera’s USAID-funded PCID program has six community infrastructure projects underway in the West Bank and Gaza and, with programming unexpectedly due to halt at the end of January, only one will likely reach full completion unless funding resumes. Anera had also planned, pending funding approval, additional projects in Gaza to meet emergency water needs.
The cuts also will force Anera to lay off two-thirds of its staff and close two of its offices in Palestine. Non-USAID programs will continue as planned, with funding from institutional and individual donors. Anera will still build schools, install water networks, provide medicines to charitable clinics, foster women’s economic empowerment, and help small family farmers. However, the end of Anera’s larger USAID-funded infrastructure projects in Palestine will cut off thousands of people living in vulnerable conditions from life-changing interventions. The USAID projects would provide more than 114,000 people with access to safe water, education, health services and a playground for Gaza’s children.
“We don’t want any of these projects stranded and incomplete,” says Anera President Sean Carroll. “Who wants to be the one to go to the communities we have worked hard with to develop needed projects, and say to a family, ‘sorry, you will not have access to safe water as we discussed.’ Or to a group of young boys on the street in Gaza, excited about the prospect of a new park in their crowded neighborhood, ‘sorry, but we’re not building your park after all.’ Or say to a young girl, ‘sorry, you won’t be able to go to high school now, because we don’t have the funding anymore.’”
Anera is currently working with other donors to fund the completion of these projects, but it is hard to replace the larger-scale funding we received from USAID. The end of USAID’s work in the West Bank and Gaza ends a productive relationship that stretches back to the 1970s. Anera and USAID have worked very successfully together to provide relief and sustainable, long-term health, education, and economic development in vulnerable Palestinian communities across the region and in the West Bank and Gaza. We hope to return to our longstanding partnership with USAID in the near future.
How You Can Help
Our non-USAID programs in Palestine, Lebanon and (soon) Jordan are continuing as planned. Anera’s dedicated individual donors indeed gave record levels of funding in 2018. 2019 is bringing new challenges and we all need to come together to confront them.
Please spread the word and support the communities you care so much about. It will take all of us, together, to confront the challenges ahead and help hope find its way.
- DONATE NOW to fund the quality programs Anera is delivering today.
- Set up a fundraiser for a bike ride, an event, or a special time of year.
- Read a wide variety of perspectives from our areas of work on our blog: The Olive Press.
- Come to an event near you and learn about the programs we deliver.
- Follow us on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & YouTube) and share our great content with your friends.
By The Numbers
THANKS TO YOUR GENEROSITY IN 2018
WE WERE ABLE TO HELP...
Families have always been the cornerstone of Palestinian society, and serve as the first place where children can learn respect, self-esteem, responsibility, community and, most importantly, love. These values, when amplified in society at-large, shape a nation. That is why Anera strives to deliver projects and programs that directly benefit Palestinian families in Palestine and Lebanon and help them thrive. Below are some Palestinian families who have benefited from various projects and programs.
“One day it was quiet and then suddenly there was a park. It was like the whole village was sleeping and then suddenly woke up. I now see more people spending time with their children and neighbors.”
- Suleiman father and Mukhtar (tribal chief) of Um Salamuna, Palestine referring to the new public park Anera built.