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New Palestine agreement between NUMGE and NPA

Norwegian People’s Aid Secretary-General Henriette Westhrin and Mette Nord, Leader of the Norwegian Union of Municipal and General Employees (Photo: Betzy Alexandra Kjelsberg Thangstad)

Union leader Mette Nord and Henriette Killi Westhrin, Secretary-General to Norwegian People’s Aid sign a four-year cooperation agreement in support of the Palestinians’ fight for freedom in the Middle East.

From 2018 to 2021, the Norwegian Union of Municipal and General Employees (NUMGE) will be investing NOK 20 million in joint political lobbying in Norway, support to Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) programmes in Palestine and Lebanon, and cluster-bomb clearance in Laos.

Cooperation between the two organisations began in 2009 and has since maintained particular focus on Norwegian economic links to the Israeli occupation and spreading information to members through the union’s ambassador corps for Palestine.

- We’ve seen good results from our campaigns and the political issues that we’ve raised. Through the work of our ambassadors, who tell us about their experiences from visiting the West Bank and Gaza, Lebanon and Laos, a good understanding of the issues has been established throughout the organisation, says, Mette Nord at the meeting. 

During the previous agreement period, Gaza suffered two brutal wars with significant civil and material losses. The wars and the ongoing blockade have led the UN into warning that the Gaza Strip will be uninhabitable by 2020. There has been a huge increase in Israeli settlements on the West Bank and attempts at peace negotiations have not made any progress. The presence of Norwegian People’s Aid in Palestine is now more important than ever and NUMGE’s financial support helps keep NPA projects up and running. 

-  The cooperation agreement is very important because we are able to combine political activity and financial support in such a beneficial way. We get the opportunity to follow up our partners in Palestine, Lebanon and Laos and to work with one of the greatest political challenges of our time: the occupation of Palestine. We have much greater influence working together with NUMGE than when we each work separately, says NPA Secretary-General Henriette Killi Westhrin. 

 

11.12.2017 | Betzy Alexandra Kjelsberg Thangstad