Bolivia by changcheng2


									Bolivian Position on Humanitarian Aid to Palestine:

From 2008 to 2010, over $7.5 billion worth of goods and services has been allocated in foreign aid to the
Palestinian territories, namely Gaza and the West Bank. Thirty percent of Palestinian GDP is from foreign
aid, which provides valuable goods and services to over half the population and employs 140,000 of the
5 million Palestinians. However, in 2011, of the nearly $600 million requested by Palestine for
humanitarian aid, only $40 million has been pledged, a mere seven percent. This humanitarian aid
encompasses improvements in shelter, health, sanitation, electricity, nutrition, education, child
protection, and rebuilding efforts, among other areas.

Bolivia has been a friend for Palestine in the past years. During the 2009 Israel-Gaza conflict, Bolivia, in
coordination with Venezuela, supplied large amounts of food to the Palestinians in Gaza. During that
same period, Bolivia cut diplomatic ties with Israel, whose armies killed 1400 Palestinian civilians in the
conflict. On December 17, 2010, Bolivia also recognized Palestine as an independent state within the
1967 borders established by the U.N. and pushed back by Israel. In doing so, Bolivian President Evo
Morales said that his government “could not continue waiting with its arms crossed given the problems
of human rights, territory and sovereignty.” Although Bolivia is one of the over 130 countries who
recognizes Palestine, it has no official relations with the PLO or the PNA. There is also a Bolivian embassy
in Ramallah, and a Palestinian embassy in La Paz.

Although Bolivia hopes to see a two-state solution for Palestine and Israel, Bolivia does not believe this
will eliminate the need for humanitarian aid in Gaza and the West Bank. With such current dependency
on international aid for basic survival, Gaza will find it difficult to secure economic growth under current
aid standards. With a trade deficit of over $3 billion and national debt of over $1 billion more, Palestine
needs to grow its industries. This will require foreign investment, a task Bolivia cannot do alone, whose
own debt is 40.3% of national GDP. Foreign investment, or cash-based aid, will provide more help in
bolstering the Palestinian economy than more goods, which cannot be moved around easily under the
Israeli blockade. The naval blockade and system of roadblocks and checkpoints stifles economic growth
in the region.

Therefore, Bolivia feels that it will be in the best interest of the Committee on Humanitarian Aid to
Palestine to call for official Palestinian independence from Israel, which Bolivia believes would both
remove the barriers preventing aid from truly making an impact in Gaza and the West Bank, and also
free Palestine to secure economic development separate from that of Israel. Also, Bolivia feels it would
be in the best interest of foreign aid to convert goods and services into fluid cash while dealing with
Palestine, enabling the Palestinians to decide how to receive their aid and learn how to manage their
finances. However, great pains must be taken to ensure that the money falls in the hands of legitimate
government, and not the terrorist organizations in Palestine that threaten economic progress.

Connor Wahrman, Bolivian Delegate

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