USAID has invested $150 million this past year to empower Palestinians to build thriving and resilient communities, promote inclusive development, and advance a two-state solution. Under the Biden-Harris administration, pending Congressional approval, USAID plans to program at least $500 million between 2021-2024 in total support to the Palestinian people. These activities will improve the lives of Palestinians through economic growth, health, youth empowerment, civil society organization support, water and sanitation, humanitarian assistance, and peacebuilding activities to lay the foundation for a two-state solution.
As part of this funding, USAID is launching new programs to improve wastewater management in Tulkarem ($14.3 million), promote digital finance through a pilot activity ($1.0 million), develop technical and vocational skills for youth ($20 million), and bolster civic engagement in the West Bank and Gaza ($28.8 million).
In September, USAID announced three new people-to-people awards under the Nita Lowey Middle East Partnership for Peace Act (MEPPA) fund. Now, we are pleased to add two more programs to that list. We are awarding $600,000 to the Society of Friends of the Edith Wolfson Medical Center for the two-year Advanced Trauma Life Support activity, and the Building Regional Economic Bridges (BREB) activity.
The five new MEPPA awards all support civil society organizations that build people-to-people connections between Israelis and Palestinians in order to address shared challenges and build critical economic linkages between the Israeli and Palestinian economies. The five-year, $87 million BREB activity, implemented by Chemonics, will overcome barriers between Palestinian and Israeli private sectors and promote joint economic and applied research opportunities at individual and institutional levels. More information on the three awards announced on September 28 can be found on the USAID website.
The above new programs are in addition to incremental funding for ongoing programs launched last year that you can learn more about here. This work continues USAID’s commitment to improve the lives of the Palestinian people and to create the foundation for a peaceful two-state solution.