Seeds Spread in the Fields of Justice

The Palestinian Maintenance Fund provides the payment of all provisions of the expenses ruled by the competent authorities to the beneficiaries, especially women, children, the elderly, and those with disabilities.  Payment of the value of these provisions has strengthened the position of the person entitled to alimony as a result of imposing the will of the state, as an external authority represented by the PMF, in cases of private space, and obliging those charged with paying the alimony by legal means and measures.

Written by: Fatima Al-Muaqat

The declaration of a state of emergency in Palestine on the 5th of March, to limit the spread of the Coronavirus, had numerous social, economic, health and psychological impacts on Palestinian society. For example, not only has there been an increase in gender-based violence, but also the emergence of a new lower class, meaning that the coming period will witness a significant increase in the number of beneficiaries of the Palestinian Maintenance Fund’s services (PMF). Accordingly, it is expected that the total number of beneficiaries, in light of the crisis, will reach approximately 21,500 beneficiaries in 2020 compared to 15,363 in 2019; that is, a significant jump in the usual percent increase. In total, it increased by 29% from 2019 to 2020, and 45% from 2018.

Based on the national and legal responsibility of state institutions in general, and the Palestinian Maintenance Fund in particular, it is necessary to move quickly to protect the financial rights of the groups that benefit from it. The PMF is the primary and only player for the groups that benefit from it, especially since some of its beneficiaries are excluded from the national and cross-sectoral plans. These groups are not classified as the poor or poorest because of those who are legally responsible to spend on them, though these legal and social obligations are evaded; unlike orphans, widows, and the poor who have no income and are included in national and cross-sectoral plans.

Currently, after the declaration of the state of emergency, all governmental and non-governmental institutions have been suspended except for the health, security, social protection and media sectors. This decision had a direct impact on the suspension of the Maintenance Fund’s revenues that come from the fees paid for birth certificates, marriage contracts and divorce settlements, in which these departments in the Ministry of Interior and Sharia courts closed their doors to auditors and reviews.

In order to ensure the regularity of the alimony payment to its beneficiaries on a monthly basis during the period of crisis in the country, as well as during future challenges, particularly with the Fund, Article 10 of the Palestinian Maintenance Fund Law No. 6 of 2005 indicates that the financial resources of the Fund shall include: grants, donations, and revenues from the public treasury. Accordingly, the fund seeks to supplement its resources through networking and building partnerships with the private sector at home and abroad.

The Palestinian Maintenance Fund provides the payment of all provisions of the expenses ruled by the competent authorities to the beneficiaries, especially women, children, the elderly, and those with disabilities.  Payment of the value of these provisions has strengthened the position of the person entitled to alimony as a result of imposing the will of the state, as an external authority represented by the Palestinian Maintenance Fund, in cases of private space, and obliging those charged with paying the alimony by legal means and measures. This analysis was based on our in-depth understanding of protection in its holistic sense which surpassed the limits of paying the value of the alimony to those who are entitled to them on a monthly basis, by providing economic, legal, psychological and social services that meet the practical needs to spare them from humiliation and destitution. This is thanks to our participatory approach with national and international institutions and groups eligible for alimony.

The opinions expressed in this article are the views of the author and not necessarily the opinion of the Association or donor. 

<<<<<

>>>>>

Share This