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Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact Information: Hussein Ibish
August 30, 2008 - 11:00pm

Washington, DC, August 1 – Today the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with American Charities for Palestine (ACP) initiating a partnership to help harness the generosity of the American people to help meet Palestinian humanitarian needs. USAID Administrator Henrietta H. Fore, who presided over the ceremony, described this achievement as “historic” and “the first of its kind.”

The MOU was signed at the USAID offices in Washington, DC today by George Laudato, Administrator’s Special Assistant for the Middle East, and Dr. Ziad Asali, Chairman of the Board and Founder of ACP.

The recently established American Charities for Palestine (ACP) is a nonprofit organization that seeks to offer a secure and efficient means of transferring charitable donations from individuals and entities in the U.S. to humanitarian programs for the Palestinians, especially in the health and education sectors. USAID and ACP have pledged to work closely together in order to achieve this goal. ACP is a sister organization to the American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP), both founded by Dr. Asali, and the two share a number of common board members.

USAID Administrator Henrietta H. Fore called the signing “a momentous event,” and said, “The arrangement is the first mechanism of its kind, and we are very proud of this historic step.” She added, “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.” “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,” Administrator Fore continued. “These public-private partnerships will play a critical role in bringing peace and prosperity to a region with distinct challenges,” she concluded. (Administrator Fore's Remarks: Full text)

ACP founder Asali said, “Through ACP, and as a result of this Memorandum of Understanding, generous Americans can donate to Palestinian development with confidence that their money will go to worthwhile projects in accordance with US law. It is our hope that these efforts, once underway, will immediately improve quality of life for Palestinians. We intend not only to improve the quantitative availability of services but to help upgrade the quality of such services by utilizing the expertise of leaders in the American health and education sectors.” (Dr. Asali's Remarks: Full Text)

Dr. Asali added, “These are two sectors that are essential for building the foundations of a Palestinian state as part of realizing the vision of an end of conflict based on two states – Palestine and Israel – living side by side in peace and security.” After praising the role of many people, including Administrator Fore, in bringing about the agreement, Dr. Asali concluded, “Today is the first step. Our immediate next step is to finalize robust administrative and financial structures to carry our mission forward.”

Click here for USAID's press release

Click here for George Laudato's remarks






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