Administrator Henrietta H. Fore, USAID
Remarks at the Signing Ceremony of an MOU between USAID
and the American Charities for Palestine
Point Four Conference Room, USAID
Washington, D.C.
August 1, 2008

Thank you, George, for the kind introduction. Dr. Asali, distinguished guests from the American Charities for Palestine, the American Task Force on Palestine, the Departments of Treasury and State, USAID, and other guests, it is my distinct pleasure to be here today for this momentous event.
We are here to sign a memorandum of understanding launching an important partnership between the American Charities for Palestine and the U.S. Agency for International Development. The arrangement is the first mechanism of its kind, and we are very proud of this historic step. American Charities for Palestine will raise American charitable contributions, and will work with USAID to direct these funds to support ongoing projects in the field.

We are initially focusing on the education and health sectors, two areas of shared common interest. USAID/West Bank and Gaza has a robust portfolio in the health and education sectors. Whether it is our emergency medical assistance programs, maternal and child health care programs, our early education activities, or the education initiatives that are part of the U.S.-Palestinian Partnership, USAID is actively committed to improving the lives of Palestinians. Since 1993, USAID has provided Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza with almost two billion dollars through our assistance programs. We will continue to be steadfast in our commitment.

In the spirit of today’s historic achievement, let me take a moment to stress the strategic importance of the public and private sectors working together, such as USAID’s arrangement with American Charities for Palestine, as well as the U.S. Palestinian Partnership. In a world with ever increasing demands on resources, and with new and ongoing humanitarian crises and development needs, it is vital that USAID reach out to, and work with, the nongovernmental sector in order to advance change. Working together to find creative and innovative solutions, USAID and the nongovernmental sector can achieve shared common goals, such as improving the livelihoods of Palestinians. These public-private partnerships will play a critical role in bringing peace and prosperity to a region with distinct challenges.

Dr. Asali, it is with great pride that I stand here today with you. Under your leadership, I have the fullest confidence that the American Charities for Palestine will make an important impact in the lives of Palestinians, and I look forward to working with you to help both of our organizations meet their shared and ambitious goals.

At this time, I welcome Dr. Asali to offer any remarks. Thank you


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