The Action Group for Humanitarian Response launched a project to protect the rights and dignity of Palestinians in accordance with international humanitarian law and the law for the protection of Palestinian human rights, with a focus on the protection of the rights of the Palestinian child and gender equality.
The opening activities took place in the Russian Cultural Center's hall in Bethlehem, with the official presence of directors from some government ministries, the president of the Bethlehem Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dr. Samir Hazboun, and representatives of partner institutions in the project. These institutions include the Psychological and Social Counseling Center for Women, the Agricultural Development Association, the Palestinian Hydrogenists Group, and the Spanish Cooperation Foundation for Peace.
At the beginning of the launch ceremony, Ziad Salah, Director of Agricultural Reliefin Bethlehem, and Lian Al-Azza, Project Coordinator at the Psychological and Social Counseling Center for Women, welcomed the attendees on behalf of the Task Force for Humanitarian Response.
A minute of silence was observed, followed by the playing of the Palestinian national anthem. Then, an introduction to the group, which consists of three Palestinian institutions and a Spanish organization, was given. The group was established in 2018.
Following the official opening, representatives of the three institutions provided an explanation of the work of each institution. Lian Al-Azza stated that the Counseling Center began working in the group in the provinces of Salfit and Qalqilya within this group, and other projects that contribute to supporting and assisting Palestinian women.
Al-Azza added that they are now starting to work in Bethlehem with the group, where eight residential communities in the rural areas of Bethlehem will be targeted, with each institution working within its specialization in an integrated manner.
Al-Azza clarified that the idea of complementing each other as partners aims to provide comprehensive services to citizens in Area C, where they are exposed to attacks from the occupation and settlers.
The Center works to strengthen the resilience of women and empower the community through various programs, whether within the project or through different programs that focus on women's mental health, economic empowerment, and raising community awareness of women's rights.
She emphasized that the work of the Counseling Center focuses on promoting mental health, awareness, and working to raise the level of the community by building citizens' capacities through awareness campaigns in schools and work.
In turn, Khalil Konkar, a member of the Board of Directors of the Agricultural Development Association, spoke about the work and efforts of agricultural relief over the years in the fields of land reclamation, wall construction, well drilling, agricultural development, agricultural marketing, and road construction to enhance the resilience of farmers, where relief has been achieved.
Konkar also spoke about cooperation with institutions, cooperatives, and women's associations in various fields, stressing the readiness of agricultural relief to cooperate with various parties, and thus they work within the task force today to launch these integrated projects.
Laith Sansour, a project coordinator in Agricultural Relief, added that during this project, they will rehabilitate four school health facilities, provide relief assistance, and establish home gardens.
Anas Al-Jada pointed out that the Palestinian Hydrogen Group works within the framework of the group in the field of building water and sanitation networks professionally and skillfully, which contributes to enhancing the presence of our people on their land.
At the end of the official activities, a discussion was opened with the local community, where the representatives of the institutions and local councils listened to the most important issues raised.