Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC)
|In their own words||A “non-profit organization by a group of volunteers and agronomists” in response to what it calls “the vulnerable socio-political circumstance of farmers that resulted from occupation policies in confiscating lands and water in the early eighties and therefore directly harmed the interests of farmers and Palestinians.”|
- The Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC) has not published any financial data, donor information, or sources of funding on its website since 2014, reflecting a complete lack of transparency and accountability.
- While UAWC claims to “reject normalization and political conditional funding,” its donors include numerous governments and international aid organizations.
- Donors include France, Netherlands, Spain (AECID), Norwegian People’s Aid, Medico, Grassroots International, Oxfam Solidarité, and the United Nations. (See table below for further funding information.)
- In 2017, UAWC received $2,569,750 from Canada via Oxfam Italia for “Recovery Support to Vulnerable Farmers, Fishermen and Herders in Gaza Strip.”
- In 2017, UAWC received $479,526 from UN OCHA for “Emergency support for greenhouse and poultry farmers to overcome the electricity crisis in the Gaza Strip” and “The provision of rehabilitation for the open field land in Gaza strip.”
- In 2017-2021, the Netherlands (Representative Office in Ramallah) is granting $11.3 million to UAWC to “implement the second phase of the Land and Water Resource Management program.”
- In 2017-2018, UAWC received €286,002 from Oxfam-Solidarité (Belgium).
- UAWC received a grant of NOK 49.4 million from Norway (via Norwegian People’s Aid) for a project (2016-2019) titled “Partnership for democratic development in Palestine.” The project is being implemented by 11 NGO partners, including the Union of Palestinian Women Committees (UPWC), a Palestinian NGO identified by Fatah as an official PFLP “affiliate,” and by USAID as the “PFLP’s women’s organization.”
- In 2015, UAWC received €184,989.43 from Spain to “Mitigate food insecurity of the Palestinian population in the Gaza Strip which is affected by the imposition of the ‘Restricted Access Areas.’”
- In 2014, UAWC received €6.1 million from the EU (through European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument- ENPI and the Development Cooperation Instrument) for three programs dealing with olive oil, livestock husbandry, and land, water, and human resource development. (See below for details on EU funding to UAWC.)
- Between 2012-2014, UAWC implemented a project in the “Hebron governorate” amounting to €354,489. The project was funded by UAWC (€20,688), the Ministry of Agriculture of Palestine (€30,000), and direct French government funding.
- Consulate General of France in Jerusalem (€31,000)
- Regional Council of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (€93,176)
- Water Agency Rhône Mediterranean Corsica (€177,000)
- The Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC) describes itself as a “non-profit organization by a group of volunteers and agronomists” in response to what it calls “the vulnerable socio-political circumstance of farmers that resulted from occupation policies in confiscating lands and water in the early eighties and therefore directly harmed the interests of farmers and Palestinians.”
- According to its website, in its early years UAWC “focused on struggling with the Israeli Occupation’s procedures that marginalized agriculture and destroyed the infrastructure of Palestinian agriculture… During the current Intifada (from the beginning of this century) and after the deterioration of the economic circumstance of the majority of Palestinians and mainly farmers, a change occurred on the nature of the Union’s programs as emergency projects became the bulk of its work.”
- Aims to bring about a “Palestinian society that is food secured enjoys social justice, holds on its land and lives in a democratic Free Palestinian State, enjoys sovereignty over his resources; where farmers both male and female, contribute effectively in all aspects of life.”
- UAWC is identified by Fatah as an official PFLP “affiliate,” and by USAID as the “agricultural arm” of the PFLP. According to academic scholar Glenn E. Robinson, UAWC was founded in 1986 by “agronomists loosely affiliated with the PFLP.”
- According to the Israeli NGO Shurat HaDin, UAWC “was established by the PFLP; is controlled by senior PFLP operatives; makes its assets available to the PFLP; and acts in coordination with and to advance the interests of the PFLP (including active involvement in PFLP political activity).”
- Clearly demonstrating its terrorist ties, in October 2010 UAWC publicized that it organized “a solidarity day with the Secretary General of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Ahmed Saadat…” Saadat was sentenced to thirty years in prison for heading an “illegal terrorist organization,” as well as for his involvement in planning many of the group’s attacks including the assassination of Israeli Tourism Minister Rehavam Ze’evi. The “solidarity day” featured Muhammad Bakri, executive director of the Union of Agricultural Work Committees in Gaza, and celebrated “the tenth anniversary of the assassination” of Ze’evi.
- Bashir al Khairi, President of the UAWC board of trustees until 2011, “was convicted of terrorist offences in 1969 and gaoled for 15 years.” Khairi was the head of the PFLP political bureau.
- In 2012, World Vision Australia suspended activities with UAWC due to its alleged ties to the PFLP.
- UAWC rhetoric includes accusations of “ethnic cleansing,” “collective punishment,” and “apartheid,” as well as supporting a Palestinian “right of return.”
- Utilizes highly biased and demonizing rhetoric, accusing the “Israel occupation forces” of “continuing its brutal and immoral offensive  war on Gaza” and an ongoing “policy of collective punishment in disregard for the international law and humanitarian law… in violation of the principles of necessity, proportionality and distinction.”
- UAWC omits Palestinian terrorism and Hamas rocket fire aimed at Israeli civilians, promoting views based solely on the Palestinian narrative of victimization.
- On September 1, 2016, UAWC signed a letter to the Italian Association of Farmers asking them to “rethink their sponsorship and participation” in the Israeli Watec Conference due to its “role in the grave violations of human rights and water rights” and compliance with the “water apartheid.”
- In November 2015, UAWC wrote a letter to the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon urging the UN to take “action against Israel’s systematic policy of ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people in the occupied West Bank, Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip, and the discrimination against Palestinians in occupied Palestinian land in 1948. We urge the United Nations to finally acknowledge the systematic killing and injuring of Palestinian civilian as a war crime and a crime against humanity.”
- In September 2014, UAWC signed on an appeal to the Union of European Football Associations to “exclude the bid of the Israeli Football Association (IFA) for Jerusalem to host UEFA …given Israel’s recent war crimes against the people of Gaza and the on-going occupation and persistent human rights violations against Palestinians, including in the field of sports.”
- According to its 2012 annual report, “UAWC staff and its volunteers and agricultural committees carried out a number of anti-occupation public events in the West Bank and Gaza in 2012” including: “Palestinian reconciliation and its impact on the agricultural reality”; “the anniversary of the Nakba”; “the land is ours”; “organizing field visits for delegations and foreign solidarity activists.”
Funding to UAWC
|Norwegian People’s Aid||NOK 13,155,986||2018
|Solidaridad Internacional Andalucia||€445,778||2018
|Associazione Di Cooperazione E Solidarieta (Italy)||€527,102||2018-2021
|Organizzazione Per Lo Sviluppo Globale Di Comunita’ In Paesi Extraeuropei Onlus ||€241,471||2018-2020
Member of PENGON, PNGO, and La Via Campesina.
EU Funding to UAWC (2013-2014)
Based on the EU’s Financial transparency system
|2013||''Moving herders from aid dependence to self-sustaining growth through livestock husbandry development and market expansion''||€3,545,374
|2014||''Moving herders from aid dependence to self-sustaining growth through livestock husbandry development and market expansion'' ||€1,879,374
|Making olive oil competitive through the introduction of local value chain approach in the oPt||€609,895
|Juthoor: Land, Water, and Human Resource Development in Vulnerable Areas of the West Bank||€3,600,000
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