GAZA CITY, 4 October 2011 (IRIN) – As reports come in that the USA may be preparing to cut a substantial portion of the aid it gives to the Palestinian Authority (PA) if the Palestinian statehood bid is successful, people in the occupied Palestinian territory are bracing for possible consequences.
Still branded a “terrorist” organization by the Quartet (European Union, UN, US and Russia), the Hamas-led government in the Gaza Strip is developing programmes to assist the poorest families as the threat of sanctions by Israel and/or the USA looms.
“We are seeking alternative aid to Gaza from Arab nations,” said Omar Al-Derbi, assistant deputy social affairs minister in Gaza. A new programme under the ministry to begin in October pairs Gaza families in need directly with families from Gulf countries. Ten thousand Gaza beneficiaries will receive 1,000 shekels (US$267) every three months for the coming year. Beneficiaries, interviewed by over 200 social workers in Gaza, include widows and the unemployed.