The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has announced that all operations in the West Bank and Gaza will close by early 2019. Half of the agency’s staff are expected to be let go in the coming weeks.
USAID is one of the largest aid organizations in the region, supplying around US$5.5 billion to the occupied Palestinian territories for infrastructure, medical and social services, and humanitarian aid. There is currently no alternative in sight.
Some US$215 million that the United States was to invest in humanitarian aid and development in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip has been withheld, according to an analysis for the U.S. Congress. U.S. financing for UNRWA has also been blocked as part of President Trump’s blackmail tactics against the Palestinians.
A groundbreaking greenhouse that relies on sunlight and sea water to grow tomatoes officially opens next week, 300 kilometres north of Adelaide.