The government yesterday announced a huge boost for UK support for coexistence funding in a major victory for LFI’s longstanding campaign on the issue.
The Department for International Development has pledged up to £3 million for the next three years to support people-to-people projects which bring Israelis and Palestinians together. UK support for such projects had been cut from £150,000 in 2015/16 to zero in 2016/17. Earlier this year, DfID said it was working on a new package of support.
Welcoming the announcement, LFI chair Joan Ryan said: “LFI is delighted that the government appears to have listened to our calls on this important issue. Our five-year campaign for greater coexistence funding was based on the premise that bringing Israelis and Palestinians together will promote reconciliation, trust and understanding between the two peoples which is vital in underpinning any successful peace process. The government now needs to ensure coexistence work reaches its full potential by supporting the campaign for an International Fund for Israeli-Palestinian Peace. We congratulate all those who have campaigned alongside LFI for greater spending on people-to-people projects and, most importantly, pay tribute to the Israelis and Palestinians who undertake this crucial work.”
Ms Ryan has led LFI’s campaigning on the issue over the past two years, introducing a 10-minute rule bill in support of an International Fund for Israeli-Palestinian Peace in January, and visiting Washington to press for congressional action.