A MILLION REASONS TO CELEBRATE PROJECT ROZANA
The Australian Government has gifted US$1,000,000 to the Palestinian Authority for COVID-19 relief after representations by Project Rozana.
It follows a direct request from the PA to Project Rozana. Australia’s Foreign Minister, Senator Marise Payne (pictured above) and Health Minister, Greg Hunt, actively facilitated this gift.
The money will be channelled through the World Health Organisation which will coordinate its deployment with the PA Ministry of Health. It will be used to provide critically-needed medical equipment and technical assistance to the Palestinian health system particularly in Gaza.
It follows a direct request from the PA to Project Rozana, which was the first NGO in 2020 to provide ICU-enabled ventilators and training for hospitals in the Palestinian Territories.
The decision represents a seismic shift in Project Rozana Australia’s engagement with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) group.
DFAT’s role is to work with other government agencies to ensure that Australia’s pursuit of its global, regional and bilateral interests are coordinated effectively.
Jacqueline Pascarl, a member of the Project Rozana Australia board and an experienced CEO in the NGO/NFP sector, described the decision as a tipping point,
“not only towards acceptance and accreditation, it is the biggest test regionally (towards) acceptance as a credible and dependable NGO in the region.”
The Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Riad Maliki, praised Australia’s “excellent response” in dealing with the pandemic and its generous offer of support.
He also paid tribute to Project Rozana for helping to steer the request through the appropriate Australian Government channels.
Chair of Project Rozana International and its Australian affiliate, Ron Finkel AM, described the Australian Government’s decision as truly significant.
Mr Finkel said the COVID-19 pandemic was cutting a swathe through Palestinian society, in part because its health system lacked critical infrastructure to deal with the growing crisis.
“We have achieved many milestones since Project Rozana was established eight years ago. But with so many lives in the balance, none are more timely or urgent than this.
I want to pay tribute to Australia’s Foreign Minister, Senator Marise Payne, and the Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, for actively facilitating this grant. It will have a direct impact on the health and wellbeing of the Palestinian people.
The grant received strong support from the Government of Israel, which recognises that defeating the pandemic must be based on a regional approach.
The insidious nature of the disease means that it can only be contained through cooperation. This approach is key to Project Rozana’s vision of building better understanding between Israelis and Palestinians through health.”
Mr Finkel also paid tribute to the continuing support of the Palestinian Representative to Australia, Izzat Salah Abdulhadi, whose office liaised between the Australian and Palestinian governments.
He also acknowledged the assistance of Mark Bailey, the Australian Ambassador to Palestine, and to the tireless work of Dr Jamal Rifi AM, a board member of Project Rozana Australia and International.
The Project Rozana office in Israel will assist with customs clearance and delivery of the goods to the PA, and cover all the related costs on the Israel side.
Mr. Finkel added,
“The generosity of the Australian people will be noted in Jerusalem and Ramallah. Equally, the role of Project Rozana, an international NGO that was born in Melbourne, is further evidence that Australia is an emerging and significant player in supporting the health needs of Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza.”