Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken will meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah and representatives of Palestinian civil society in Jerusalem on March 27. The Secretary will reaffirm the U.S. commitment to the Palestinian people and the Administration’s support for a lasting, negotiated two-state solution.
U.S. Assistance to the Palestinian People
As we work toward a negotiated two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, we are also increasing our assistance to the Palestinian people. Since April 2021, the United States has provided over half a billion dollars in assistance for the Palestinians, including more than $417 million in humanitarian assistance for Palestinian refugees through UNRWA, $75 million in support through USAID, and $20.5 million in COVID and Gaza recovery assistance.
- The U.S. government plans to provide an additional $75 million in economic assistance to the Palestinian people this year. Additionally, the United States is also providing $45 million for programs to support the security sector including important improvements to the rule of law.
- U.S. assistance for the Palestinian people supports the Palestinian private sector, rapid relief to the neediest households, strengthening Palestinian civil society, and providing access to basic services such as water, sanitation, and hygiene. It also advances the rule of law, particularly in the security sector.
- UNRWA’s mandate and work is important, especially in Gaza. UNRWA’s services include education, health care, emergency relief, social services, mental health and psychosocial support, and livelihoods assistance, among other activities in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and the West Bank and Gaza. The United States remains committed to strengthening UNRWA’s management, oversight, and accountability, as well as putting UNRWA on a sustainable financial path.
- In addition, $100 million directed to the Nita M. Lowey Middle East Partnership for Peace Act (MEPPA) for the first two years of a 5-year commitment will strengthen people-to-people engagement between Palestinians and Israelis to create the conditions for lasting peace.
- MEPPA’s first two awards announced by USAID on March 8 support the Palestinian and Israeli private sectors to build partnerships, increase economic growth, and lay the foundation for peace through people-to-people programs.
Supporting a Secure, Free, Democratic, and Prosperous Palestinian Society
- The United States is committed to the development of a secure, free, democratic, and prosperous Palestinian society and governance.
- The U.S. Government also remains committed to a negotiated two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and believes that Israelis and Palestinians alike deserve equal measures of freedom, security, and prosperity.
- The United States will continue to work with the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian people – including civil society – to advance these objectives. In addition, the U.S. Government aims to promote respect for the human rights of the Palestinian people. The United States encourages the Palestinian Authority to promote and protect the rights of Palestinians as it works to fulfill the aspirations of the Palestinians and enjoy lasting peace with Israel.
Supporting Meaningful Exchange and Partnership between Palestinians and Americans
- Our assistance and our diplomacy also support Palestinian civil society as it works to combat corruption, promote respect for rights and freedoms, improve community services — including health and education — and build a Palestinian society that will support the establishment of a successful, democratic future Palestinian state. The Secretary will be meeting with Palestinians in East Jerusalem who make up a critical and vibrant part of civil society and the diverse cultural mosaic of Jerusalem.
- The U.S. Palestinian Affairs Unit (PAU) Public Diplomacy Section creates opportunities for Palestinians – including high school and university students, academics, artists, civil society leaders, and professionals – to engage meaningfully with American peers and experts on a wide range of topics. Our programs also facilitate exchanges for hundreds of Palestinians each year.
- The PAU supports outstanding Palestinian students to study at U.S. high schools and universities through a variety of State Department programs including the Kennedy Lugar Youth Exchange & Study program, UGRAD, EducationUSA, and the Fulbright Student Program.
- Additionally, the PAU supports programs and exchanges for Palestinian faculty, rising leaders, and professionals, including through the Fulbright Visiting Scholar program and the International Visitor Leadership Program.
- The PAU also partners with Palestinian and American organizations to support projects in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza that increase exchange between our two peoples and advance shared goals on topics such as education, entrepreneurship, environmental protection, English language learning, science and technology, art and culture, gender equality, human rights, and democracy, among others. These include university linkage projects connecting American and Palestinian universities directly for exchange and collaboration for students and faculty.
- Our American Spaces in Jerusalem, Ramallah, and Hebron serve as venues and hubs for many of these programs.