Last week the U.S. Administration announced its decision to end funding for Israeli-Palestinian cross-border programs through the USAID Conflict Management and Mitigation Grants program (CMM). This decision effectively ends all American aid for Palestinian civilians and civil society.
Since its creation in 2004, CMM has been a crucial lifeline for civil society groups working within Israel and across the Green Line. In a statement to the New York Times, Father Josh Thomas, Executive Director of ALLMEP member Kids4Peace stated, “We’re concerned that changes in aid would hurt the people most essential to any peace agreement by jeopardizing the momentum of organizations like ours.”
This funding cut practically and symbolically impacts cross-border civil society organizations, groups who work across sectors and borders, day-in and day-out, to create a reality in which peace is possible and sustainable.
In the same New York Times article, ALLMEP Executive Director Joel Braunold explained that this funding from the U.S. represents nearly a quarter of the available annual global funding for peace and reconciliation work between Israelis and Palestinians.
In the article, Braunold states:
Cutting off programs that benefit Palestinians would deeply damage the integrity of the program.
Photo Credit: The New York Times
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