Viva Salud (formerly Third World Health Aid [THWA])

Profile

Country/TerritoryBelgium
Websitehttps://twha.be/
Founded1989
In their own words“United for Health”

Funding

  • In 2019, total income was €1.65 million, of which €999,457 was from government funding; total expenses were €1.69 million.
    • In 2017-2021, the Directorate-General Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid (DGD), a branch of the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, provides €955,976 to Viva Salud for activities in, West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem.
  • In 2019, DGD granted €884,783 to Viva Salud.

Activities

  • Viva Salud (formerly Third World Health Aid [TWHA], known as “Médecine pour le Tiers Monde [M3M]” in French and “Geneeskunde voor de Derde Wereld [G3W]” in Flemish), is a Belgium-based organization that claims to fight “for the right to health and sovereign development in Palestine, the Philippines, Cuba, the DR Congo, Laos and other parts of the world.”
  • According to Viva Salud’s program manager in “Palestine,” “Showing solidarity with the Palestinian social movement and supporting Palestinian youth remains fundamental. Just as fundamental are social mobilization and pressure on our governments to take measures that finally force Israel to respect the rights of Palestinians.”

Ties to the PFLP

BDS Activities

Political Advocacy

  • In May 2018, during the violence on the Gaza border, Viva Salud condemned Israel’s use of “extreme violence” including “live ammunition on unarmed protesters, tear gas, and so on.” According to Viva Salud, “the Nakba is still ongoing today: evictions, demolition of houses and schools, grabbing of agricultural land, harassment, increase in the number of settlements, illegal blockade of Gaza, system of apartheid.” Viva Salud ignored the violent nature of the protests, which have consisted of an organized armed attack on the Israeli border and IDF positions, attempts to destroy and breach the border fence, and sustained arson, rocket, and mortar attacks on Israeli civilian communities.
  • In February 2018, Viva Salud accused Israel of placing Palestinians in an “open-air prison.”
  • In July 2017, Viva Salud shared a “Message of solidarity to the Palestinian people” by the Philippine National Women’s Alliance GABRIELA stating that “We affirm our solidarity with the people, especially with the women of Palestine, who are constantly fearful for their lives and those of their families because of the endless atrocities inflicted by the Zionists…Ayelet Shaked’s statement from the Jewish Home and Member of Parliament calling for the massacre of Palestinian mothers to prevent them from bringing more small Palestinians, clearly reflects the Zionists’ policy of destroying the Palestinian nation. This is no different from the genocide perpetrated by Hitler against all the Jewish people” (emphasis added).
  • In May 2017, Viva Salud published an article titled “The Palestinian national identity censored in the name of neutrality,” denouncing the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) for censoring textbooks “in the name of the principle of ‘neutrality’.” ”Controversial passages” that Viva Salud accused UNRWA of censoring include “conflict, settlements, Israeli soldiers, violence against the Palestinian population, and Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine.” According to the article, “the culture of normalization with Israel can only distance the future Palestinian generation from resistance to occupation.” (emphasis added)
  • Referring to the reconstruction of Gaza following the 2014 Gaza war, Viva Salud claims that “medical aid for the Palestinians is above all an opportunity for the Israeli pharmaceutical industry, which enjoys a monopolistic position in the sale of medicines to the inhabitants of Gaza. For the Israeli business world, ‘reconstruction’ is in turn a source of profit.”
  • In a 2013 article titled “Gaza drowned, Israel adds water,” Viva Salud referred to a weeklong storm that caused damage in Gaza and claimed that “making the situation worse, Israel opened the gates of a dam…with the consequences that the homes of hundreds of Gazans were left under water.” This story was a blatant fabrication.
  • In a 2013 publication bearing the Belgium Development Cooperation logo, the organization states, “One of the most flagrant examples of how a sovereign state has been undermined is the decades-long occupation and colonization of Palestine, which began in 1948 when Palestinians were driven en masse from their villages in what is now Israel.” (Emphasis added).
  • In August 2012, following the 2009 closure of Nidal community center in Jerusalem run by Health Work Committees, a Viva Salud partner, as well as other Palestinian community centers, Viva Salud accused Israel of advancing “a policy of repression and discrimination, aiming at expelling the Palestinians and Judaizing the city.” Viva Salud does not mention that the center was closed by Israeli authorities due to its ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist organization (see below for further ties to the PFLP). In this context, Viva Salud also accused Israel of advancing a “policy of ethnic cleansing” in Jerusalem.
  • In October 2011, Viva Salud published an article titled “Women rights in Palestine: a double struggle,” claiming that “the Israeli occupation of Palestine is an obstacle for Palestinian women” in “their struggle for rights and equality.” The article suggests that some Palestinian parents “decide to not allow their daughters to go to school and sometimes prefer to marry their daughters at a young age…to avoid degrading treatment [by Israelis] at the checkpoints.” Viva Salud also claims that “mobility restriction [of Palestinians] increased the number of weddings within same family in the village” and that this “increases the risks of genetic anomalies.”

Partners

Funding to Palestinian NGOs

Data taken from Viva Salud annual reports

NGO2018201720162015
Health Work Committees and Union of Health Workers Committee€178,654€163,595€176,635€172,131
  • The precise amount transferred to each NGO is unclear.
  • In the wake of the 2014 Gaza war, Viva Salud raised €65,000for UHWC.

All Articles about Viva Salud (formerly Third World Health Aid [THWA])