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.
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