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Anera News

Winter 2019

Funding & Staff Cuts in Palestine

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.

Why I Give to Anera: Gene Zaid
In Case You Missed It

By The Numbers

THANKS TO YOUR GENEROSITY IN 2018

WE WERE ABLE TO HELP...

106 Families

Gaza Greenhouses, child

in Gaza by providing greenhouses to generate food and income.

10,650 Children

by building safe spaces for playing and sports in Lebanon.

6,048 Out-of-School Youth

Group photo of Anera’s latest cohort of ‘Home Electricity’ students at the Bekaa Valley.

by providing vocational job training and trade skills in Lebanon.

4,745 Community Members

by building new public spaces in the West Bank with access for all.

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.

“This center is an important part of our support system. We’re grateful it’s relieving some of our financial burdens.”

- Yousra (left) is a mother and patient at the Hebron Charitable Medical Center in the West Bank. Anera supplies the medical center with 70% of its medicines free-of-charge.

“This piece of land was empty. Now we have a way to make income by working our own land because of this project. This greenhouse will provide our family with healthy food to eat and sell. The money we make buys other necessities.”

- Sabah is a mother and recipient of an Anera greenhouse in Gaza.

“We’re very happy and thankful to receive these packages and hope next year you can do this again and maybe more!”

- Ahmad is a father who lives in the Shatila refugee camp in Lebanon. His family received an Anera food parcel.

“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.

Anera’s PCID program ends January 31, 2019. Because of recent USAID funding cuts, Anera is asking our community of donors and supporters, like you, to help fund on-going and new community infrastructure development projects in Palestine. We have a list of projects that are shovel-ready or in design phase. To learn more, contact us at anera@anera.org or 202-266-9700.