June 16, 2020

London - The ongoing work of Palestinian civil society organizations after the Corona crisis requires more funding from the donors, which requested the organizations to reprogram their activities and funding that were sponsored before the crisis in order to cope with the consequences of Corona. Additionally, donors have reduced funding after the spread of the virus, which has affected the nature of the organizations’ work. The financial assistance provided by donors to Palestinian civil society organizations will play a pivotal role in determining the direction of the organizations' work after the Corona crisis, as the existence and the work of the organizations depends mainly on the funds provided by donors that enable organizations to achieve their goals and develop their work.

The increase within the financial resources given to the civil society organizations after the Corona crisis will increase the capacity of these institutions to implement projects and programmes which will also help them to cope with the consequences of the pandemic. In addition to this, donors after the crisis must show maximum flexibility in the process of supporting Palestinian civil society organizations by facilitating the process of collecting actual data that helps them better understand how funding is targeted and directed to those who deserve it. They should change should expand to include converting conditional funding to unconditional funding, overlooking the deferred or cancelled activities, and extending time frames, streamlining of reporting procedures and giving greater flexibility to rigid monitoring, and finally following-up and evaluating frameworks. Whatever the form of flexibility was, it will help Palestinian civil society organizations to better focus on their time, energy and resources in order to get rid of the repercussions of Corona crisis, rather than focusing on reporting and administrative procedures.

 

There is no doubt that the Corona pandemic has changed the priorities and concerns of donors, and its expected after the Corona crisis that the relief role to be at the forefront of many donors' orientations. However, this should not affect the issues of development, growth, support and funding for civil society organizations and their activities that were negatively affected during the crisis, since some of them were forced to close their doors totally and lay off their staff, while others had to reduce expenditures and salaries and stopping the implementation of some of the core programmes they have provided.

It is important to note that the future of the EU funding, as the most important and prominent donor to Palestinian civil society organizations, is very crucial as the organizations have not yet received any new bulletins from it regarding the financing of their projects and programmes after the end of the Corona crisis. Therefore, the most prominent fear is that the EU will reduce its funding for those organizations due to the recent rejection of more than 135 Palestinian NGOs to the new requirement that the EU will not deal with individuals or groups listed on the EU "terrorism" list, known as "restrictive list" to continue funding projects and programs for civil society organizations in the Palestinian territories. The other reason consists in the expectation that the EU will change its priority in supporting and funding after Corona, where it will direct its funds to the European civil institutions, which will, as a result, be reflected in the reduction of state funding for civil society organizations.

It’s worth mentioning that if donors reduce their support and funding to civil society organizations after the Corona crisis, this will lead to the collapse of many active institutions on the Palestinian scene. Recent statistics that was released before the Corona crisis indicates that 69% of Palestinian civil society organizations are already unable to cover their expenses due to the lack of funding, which has affected 54% of their services.

In the face of fears and potential expectations that donors will reduce the funding from Palestinian civil society organizations after the Corona crisis, the international platform “iPalestine” urges all organizations to adopt and develop self-financing. This ensures continuity and presence and supports them in not relying on external actors for funding. Moreover, it illustrates on the need to contact donor institutions from today and urge them to continue funding and supporting at the current stage along with involving reputable and credible national figures, as they increase donors' confidence in civil society organizations. Furthermore, it is essential to have a wide coordination and networking among all organizations, especially when addressing donors and sending them project proposals in order to ensure that projects are not duplicated by the targeted group itself.

Its is very important after corona crisis for donors to remember their social and humanitarian values and their role in serving and developing communities as well as continuning to provide funding for the continuation of Palestinian civil society organizations' activities and programs.