Union of Agricultural Work Committees
The Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC) is registered as a non-governmental agricultural organization according to the Palestinian Associations and Non-Governmental Organizations Law No. 1 at the Palestinian Ministry of Interior. It is considered as one of the largest agricultural development institutions in Palestine as it was established in 1986 by a group of agronomists. When established, UAWC depended on volunteers completely and formed agricultural committees in the West Bank and Gaza to set the priorities of farmers and help the Union in implementing its programs and community activities.
UAWC is an independent agricultural developmental organization, politically neutral as per its by-laws, policies, vision, mission and practices. UAWC abides, and is guided by the national sectorial strategies and policies as well as the international laws and standards set by the UN’s Security Council and General Assembly resolutions that focus on Palestinian rights of freedom, development, and decent life on their land that is recognized as “Occupied Territories”.
Since its inception, UAWC has steadily gained the confidence of a range of influential donors and development agencies in developing projects and programs. UAWC adopts and applies a human rights based approach while designing and implementing its projects that range from agricultural land development and implementation of water interventions to capacity building, development of rural women’s livelihoods, legal awareness, emergency response and other agricultural development projects.
UAWC is affiliated to a number of international and national networks such as; the Arab Network for Food sovereignty, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Mobility Exchange Reciprocity (MER), Forum Social Mundial, Palestinian NGOs Network (PNGO), Palestinian Environmental NGOs Network (PNGON), Agricultural Organizations Coalition, and the Coalition for Environmental Justice in addition to La Via Campesina International (LVC); which motivated the UN General Assembly to adopt the UN Deceleration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas (UNDROP) at the end of 2018. The successes of UAWC’s projects have gained it three international awards in one year (2014/15), namely the “Food Sovereignty Prize”, the “Equator Prize”, and the “Arab Creativity Award in the Economic Creativity”.
UAWC succeeded in asserting its presence as a highly regarded national and international development institution. It established itself as an institute that primarily promotes cooperative action and volunteering. Working alongside Palestinian, Arab and international organizations in order to support and protect the rights of the Palestinian national farmers.