The ‘Partnerships for Peace’ initiative will “bring together Israelis and Palestinians to cooperate on issues which can have a positive impact on social, political and economic life within both communities”, according to a statement published by the Department for International Development (DfID).
The people-to-people work will “build understanding and cooperation on social, economic and political issues” by “creating a space for sustained, productive, interaction” between people on both sides of the conflict, thereby “helping build support for a peaceful, negotiated resolution”.
CFI Honorary President Lord Polak CBE and Executive Director James Gurd said: “For years, CFI has been a strong and proud supporter of peaceful coexistence projects, which facilitate positive interaction between Israelis and Palestinians and ultimately form the foundation of a lasting two-state solution. We are delighted that the Secretary of State for International Development, Rt. Hon. Priti Patel MP, has secured this unprecedented funding, which together with the redirection of Palestinian Authority aid to health and education will ensure taxpayers value for money while directly supporting conflict resolution”.
Yesterday in an answer to a written question from Conservative MP Paul Masterton, Middle East Minister Rt. Hon. Alistair Burt MP confirmed that DfID “will provide up to £3 million over three years to fund a co-existence or ‘people-to-people’ programme”.
The Middle East Minister said: “This UK support will help Israelis and Palestinians work together to achieve tangible improvements in their lives and build understanding between people on both sides of the conflict”.
Paul Masterton MP had asked “what support her Department provides to projects intended to foster coexistence between Palestinians and Israelis”.
CFI’s Parliamentary group has led cross-party efforts to secure the funding, raising the issue in Westminster Hall debates and parliamentary questions, as well as meeting with Government ministers to discuss the issue, and visiting multiple projects on CFI delegations.