Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Hamas playing politics with aid groups

A local NGO in Beit Lahiya that agreed to speak to IRIN on condition of anonymity had planned to provide emergency assistance in rebuilding and repairing homes after the war.

“After the war the Hamas authorities came to the headquarters of our association, summoned us to the police station and ordered us not to provide emergency assistance,” said the director. “The Hamas authorities accused us of taking money from Fatah.”

Funded by the Swiss government, the NGO engages in advocacy work for women’s and children’s rights and sustainable development projects like raising domestic animals.
It’s a political issue; Hamas NGOs are giving to Hamas and Fatah NGOs to Fatah.
“NGOs contacted us and presented us [with] an official statement by the social affairs ministry asking local NGOs to coordinate with the ministry in providing aid and to disclose all information,” deputy director of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) in Gaza, Jaber Wishah, told IRIN. “This is unacceptable; the work of aid institutions and NGOs must be independent.”

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