Transforming lives, empowering communities since 1978

Statement on the 20th Anniversary of the Oslo Accords

Washington, DC – helpupa.org – September 13, 2013 – As the world marks the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Oslo Accords today, United Palestinian Appeal (UPA) notes that Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip continue to face dire humanitarian conditions. According to recent reports from the World Bank and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency:
  • Continued restrictions on nearly all of Gaza’s exports, in addition to significant restrictions on imports are deepening an already severe humanitarian crisis.
  • Households in Gaza continue to experience frequent electricity outages and fuel shortages. 95% of Gaza’s municipal wells are contaminated with salt and nitrate levels well beyond World Health Organization standards. Gazans experience no continuous supply of quality drinking water, as well as inadequate wastewater treatment.
  • Access to land remains severely limited for West Bank Palestinians. 60% of the West Bank is off limits to Palestinians. Road blocks and closures continue to limit Palestinians’ access to their jobs, schools, hospitals and crops.
  • Restrictions on the free movement of people and goods have caused food insecurity among Palestinians to rise from 27% to 34% from 2011 to 2012. Due to significant increased cost of living and slow economic growth, Palestinian households are often forced to cope by reducing their meals per day and consuming poor quality foods. This leads to increased health problems and negatively affects those who are already medically fragile.
  • Unemployment in the West Bank and Gaza remains among the highest in the region, across all segments of the population and significantly among youth, women and refugees. A quarter of a million people of workforce age in Palestine, 31% in Gaza and 19% in the West Bank, are unemployed.
Since its founding in 1978, UPA has worked to transform lives and empower communities by responding immediately to critical health, education and development needs in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and refugee camps throughout the Middle East. UPA partners with reputable Palestinian organizations on the ground to serve children and university students; provide food and emergency medical relief; and support micro-finance and sustainable agriculture.

In addition, it has undertaken the following major projects in this, its 35th anniversary, year: the construction of a children’s library in the Bethlehem district, establishment of an audiology and speech disorder center at Birzeit University and the renovation of a kidney dialysis center for Palestinian refugees in Lebanon.

Sources:
“Socio-Economic & Food Security Survey,” United Nations Relief and Works Agency, 2012.

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United Palestinian Appeal, Inc., is a non-political, non-profit humanitarian organization based in Washington, DC, that works to alleviate the suffering of Palestinians, particularly those in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and refugee camps in the Middle East and to contribute to the long-term socioeconomic and cultural development of Palestinian society.