Funding from the United Nations and the World Health Organization (WHO) to Gaza and the West Bank are being directed to non-emergency advocacy efforts and projects with terror-linked NGOs, according to a new report by NGO Monitor.
The U.N.’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), in cooperation with the WHO, has coordinated millions of dollars in international, emergency government funding intended for lifesaving COVID-19 efforts in the West Bank and Gaza, which has been used more for the procuring of funds for NGO allies rather than critical humanitarian aid.
The May 2020 report, “No NGO Left Behind: The Politics of OCHA’s COVID-19 Humanitarian Aid in the West Bank and Gaza,” shows that funding is being provided to NGOs with ties to internationally designated terrorist organizations. That includes some NGOs whose staff were only months ago arrested and indicted for the murder of 17-year-old Rina Schnerb, who was killed on Aug. 23, 2019, in a bombing attack in Samaria that also seriously injured her father and brother.
According to OCHA, the West Bank and Gaza are in need of humanitarian aid to increase COVID-19 testing capacity; expand hospital-bed capacity; increase respiratory support and intensive-care treatment; provide Personal Protective Equipment; and to ensure that public-health messages are widely shared. “Put simply, to increase the ability of the Palestinians to combat and deal with COVID-19, some of the funds are going to the stated COVID-19 emergency efforts,” said Becca Wertman, managing editor at NGO Monitor.
However, she told JNS, “funds are also being used for activities that do not appear to involve vital, lifesaving resources and supplies to implement the most urgent and critical activities. In some instances, it is clear that existing NGO advocacy ventures, which often involve anti-Israel rhetoric and agendas, have been relabeled ‘COVID-19’ without a substantive contribution to emergency humanitarian aid.”