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Aid Watch held a Series of Roundtable Discussions on International Aid
Added:Ramallah- Aid Watch Palestine (AWP), in cooperation with Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, held a series of roundtable discussions in Ramallah and Gaza on three research papers related to international aid. Specialized people along with a number of journalists, activists and Palestinian youth attended these discussions. The roundtables discussed three research papers, “Foreign Aid and Palestinian Fragmentation”, “Mapping of Donor Funding to the Occupied Palestinian Territories 2012 - 2014/15”, and “Research on the Complaints Processes of Aid Actors in Gaza”. The discussions emphasized on the importance of these researches and its role in enhancing AWP work and increasing the performance of watching international aid. These roundtable discussions recommendations included; the need to urge the donors to protect their implemented projects in the PNA from the Israeli attacks, the need to follow up on funds and ensure its just distribution in Gaza and West Bank, the need to conduct an inclusive study on international aid covering the period 1996-2006, in addition to, the need to ensure that future studies should include all international aids funds provided to Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. It’s worth mentioning that, AWP will adopt these recommendations and work on them in the future.
Workshops and Community Outreach in Gaza
Added:Many Community awareness-raising workshops were held all over the Gaza Strip. Community members shared experiences and opinions about reconstruction plans, the Cairo donor conference, and the gap between promises made and actual reconstruction implemented. A workshop was held in southern Gaza in the Alfukhari area in Khan Younis with 20 women who live in temporary caravans. Other meetings held in cooperation with the Al-Taghreed Association, Alataa Association in Beit Hanoun, the Graduates Association, Filistiniyat and Vanguard of Palestine Association. In addition, we conducted several field visits to affected areas and visited displaced residents of temporary caravans, including in Shuia and Khuza'a and Alzenh.
Aid Watch Palestine participates in "Active Citizens" conference at Al-Najah University
Added:Aid Watch Palestine had a participation in "Active Citizens" conference, which was held at Al-Najah university, Nablus. Mr. Mohanad Berekdar, director of the initiative, spoke about "Aid to Palestinians: Who is really benefitting from it?", discussing the real beneficiaries of the international aid to Palestine, which he clarified as being Israel, the international NGO’s, companies and contractors, and even the donors themselves. He noted to a research published by Aid Watch, which concluded that 78% of the aid directed to Palestine eventually ends up in the Israeli economy, benefitting the occupation. Berekdar added that it is crucial to deal with international aid cautiously and responsibly, as it has increased Palestine’s dependency, and created a rhetoric not relevant to the priorities of the Palestinian people. He said the international aid has also contributed to the fragmentation of the Palestinian people, as it is distributed on a geographic basis, not the needs of Palestinians, which aggravates a problem caused by Israeli occupation. He stressed that Aid Watch Palestine will advocate for more donor accountability, better access to information about aid, and reforming the relation with donors to partnership rather than the (provider-recipient) relation. The conference brought together Palestinian and European scholars, civil society groups, entrepreneurs from various sectors, committed citizens to reevaluate the local economy in Palestine and get inspired by global experiences.
Aid Watch Palestine Participates in Palestinian Civil Coalition Conference for the Monitoring of Gaza Reconstruction
Added:Aid Watch Palestine participated in the first conference for the Palestinian Civil Coalition for the monitoring of Gaza reconstruction process, which was held in Gaza. The Conference discussed the reconstruction of Gaza one year after the the Cairo Conference on Palestine held in October 2014, where donors pledged aid for the reconstruction of Gaza after the Israeli aggression of July-August 2014. Mrs. Haneen Alsammak, representing Aid Watch Palestine, talked about the initiative and its objectives, and contributed with a paper that presented the latest figures issued by the World Bank regarding the amounts of aid promised for Gaza, and what have already been paid. Al-Sammak also noted to the latest study published on Aid Watch Palestine website about the international aid to Palestinians which ends up in the Israeli economy. She concluded with recommendations to provide more information about aid, and working towards more accountability for aid actors.
Aid Watch Palestine featured in Cornerstone Quarterly
Added:Aid Watch Palestine was featured in "Cornerstone," the quarterly newsletter of Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center. The article, "A New Aid for Palestinians" is on pages 12-14 (Issue 72, summer 2015). The same issue includes articles about the economy of occupation, Gaza and more. In English only at: http://www.sabeel.org/datadir/en-events/ev429/files/low%20resolution%20S...(5).pdf.
AWP Appoints First Director
Added:Aid Watch Palestine announced the appointment of our first director, Mohanad Berekdar. Mohanad Berekdar holds a master’s degree in organisational analysis from the University of London and a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Haifa University. He has been actively engaged in Palestinian civil society for over 15 years: providing organizational support, launching social change organizations, and promoting human rights. Mohanad has experience working in the West Bank, Palestine 48 and Gaza Strip with social activists, people with disabilities, youth, women and minority rights groups. He believes in mission-led organizations that practice their higher purpose in their daily functioning. We are so happy to have him!
Bad Aid or No Aid
Added:Konrad Adeneur Stiftung in Ramallah invited Aid Watch Palestine co-founder, Nora Lester Murad, to speak on “Bad Aid or No Aid? Isn’t There an Alternative? The Challenges to Development Assistance in Palestine.” Also on the panel was Dana Erekat, Head of the Palestinian Authority Aid Management and Coordination Directorate and Special Advisor to the Minister of Planning and Finance.
Gaza: The Continuous Politics of Siege and Destruction
Added:Aid Watch Palestine was featured at a Roundtable discussion called, “Gaza: The Continuous Politics of Siege and Destruction,” sponsored by Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung in Ramallah. Aid Watch Palestine co-founder, Nora Lester Murad, spoke on aid policies and the failed reconstruction process; Dr. Ghassan Khatib, vice-president in Birzeit University, focused on the ongoing siege and future scenarios; and Dr. Alaa Tartir from Al-Shabaka: Palestinian Policy Network was the discussant.
Talk on USAID and US Anti-terrorism Policy
Added:At the invitation of Aid Watch Palestine, about 20 people gathered in Khalil Sakakini Center in Ramallah to hear a talk about USAID and US anti-terrorism policy. There was rich discussion and a desire for more in-depth talks about how aid policy develops and the affects not only in Palestine but in donor countries.