Op-Ed via Middle East Eye

International aid to Palestine: Time to change course

As the US administration threats to cut aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA) escalate, and as more conditions seem to be attached to the delivery of Danish and Norwegian aid, it is time that Palestinian policymakers take necessary actions and steps to change course and lay the Oslo Accord aid model to rest.

Neither the Oslo Accord aid model nor the billions of aid funds poured into Palestine made the Palestinians closer to their freedom, self-determination or statehood, or provided for sustainable development. Rather, just the exact opposite.

Aid dependency

Aid flows over the decades resulted in entrenchment of aid dependency and deepened the structural deficiencies and distortions in the Palestinian economy, which stripped the Palestinian people of power to resist colonialism, apartheid and oppression.

Despite the apparent failure of the aid system to deliver meaningful, positive and lasting change for the lives of the Palestinians, the key actors in the aid industry are unwilling and uninterested in addressing the root causes, and instead the aid industry conventional wisdom continues to rule.

This conventional wisdom is as follows: the US decides, the World Bank leads, the EU pays, the UN feeds, and Israel destroys. Laying the Oslo Accords aid model to rest necessitates creating a new equation and formula where Palestinians are in the driving seat, and where accountability, transparency and effectiveness are centred in its core.

Otherwise, the billions in aid will continue to cause harm and sustain the damaging status quo which denies Palestinian and human rights.

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