In January, the Trump Administration placed a freeze on all aid to the West Bank and Gaza pending an administrative review. In addition to threatening the disbursement of future humanitarian aid, the Administration is continuing to withhold two years’ worth of funding for aid that has already been approved by Congress. Without this promised financial assistance, USAID and the NGOs it supports will be unable to continue providing economic and humanitarian aid in Gaza and the West Bank.
Take Action Here! Tell Congress to demand that the Administration unfreeze humanitarian aid for the West Bank and Gaza.
USAID does not pass through the Palestinian Authority, but goes directly to reputable NGOs--such as Catholic Relief Services (CRS), International Medical Corps (IMC), Mercy Corps, and American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA)--to help maintain minimum standards of health, education, and social welfare that are in turn required for maintaining a stable society. Entire programs providing these crucial services to Palestinians are under threat of closure: without the restoration of funding, for example, the entire CRS program staff (32 people) and up to 40 partner staff will be laid off by October of 2018. Freezing or diminishing these funds would mark a major departure from the long-standing U.S. policy of providing financial assistance to the West Bank and Gaza. By withholding much-needed economic and humanitarian aid, the Administration risks further destabilization in the region and an exacerbation of the security threats for both Israelis and Palestinians. Reducing access to food, education, or medical services, will greatly diminish the prospect for a just, lasting, and comprehensive solution to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.
Stand with humanitarian aid organizations. Tell your members of Congress to call for the Administration to release the funds that are being withheld.