The Fruits of Our Work
Looking Back on 50 Years
Excerpted from Anera President Sean Carroll's Remarks at the 50th Anniversary Dinner on September 28, 2018
It has been my great privilege over the past year to get to know many of Anera’s supporters, who built and sustain and shape our work. I extend a big 50th Anniversary Thank You to all of you who make Anera’s work possible.
In 1968, the year Anera was established in response to the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, 300,000 Palestinians were newly displaced, many of them refugees for a second time.
Now, 50 years later - and this year particularly - progress feels elusive. Peace is stalemated and politics fail us. But, Anera does not, will not, fail you and the vulnerable communities we work with and serve. With your help, Anera over the years has connected 1.2 million Palestinians to safe water. We have worked with farmers to seed, irrigate and cultivate 1,000s of dunums of productive farmland; built and remodeled 100s of schools, community centers, clinics, and hospitals; and delivered $543 million worth of medical and relief supplies.
What has been our impact? Have we made a difference? In the past few decades, just in Palestine, infant mortality is down 80%, life expectancy has increased 20 years, literacy is at almost 100%, and per capita income has more than doubled. Anera, of course, cannot claim all the credit. But you can bet that we helped move the needle.
Let me highlight a few examples of our work that you make possible: Last year we piloted a recycling project in response to Lebanon’s garbage crisis. We are now replicating our success in three Bekaa Valley towns, expanding our program 8-fold. Our early childhood development work is thriving in Palestine, where we are building 11 new kindergartens. In the wake of mounting casualties from Gaza’s Great Return March, the Anera community delivered $750,000 in life-saving medicines and supplies. With USAID funding, over the past 5 years, we completed 34 Palestinian Community Infrastructure Development projects. In the face of recent USAID cuts, we are taking our list of 50 new community projects that are shovel-ready or in design phase to other donors. Together, we will continue to build vital infrastructure in the Occupied Territories.
On a recent visit to Gaza, I met “Um Nader,” a 61 year-old widow responsible for 17 family members. One of hundreds of vulnerable farmers with whom we’ve worked to build small farm plots and backyard greenhouses, she is fighting cancer, cultivating her tomato hothouse and caring for her family with equal resolve. She expects to harvest three tons of tomatoes this year. She will feed her family and have money for her most critical priority: educating her grandchildren. I invite you to join me on my next visit, and see and taste the fruits of our work together.
By The Numbers
With your support in 2018
We were able to provide...
For 40+ years, Anera has been a trusted partner of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Just since 2013, under PCID, our experienced and local staff of engineers have built 34 infrastructure projects across Palestine, from schools and rainwater drainage systems to community centers and clinics. We feature four projects here that employed scores of people, making a huge difference in their communities and among vulnerable populations.