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President and CEO April 8, 2009

Samuel A. Worthington

Chair The Honorable George Mitchell
Charles MacCormack, U.S. Special Envoy for Middle East Peace
Save the Children
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Vice Chair Washington, DC 20520
Ritu Sharma Fox,
Women Thrive Worldwide
Dear Ambassador Mitchell:
Amy Coen, On behalf of my colleagues I write to express our collective appreciation for the opportunity
Population Action International to speak with you during your March 20 conference call with CEOs of InterAction member
agencies providing humanitarian assistance in Gaza. We are grateful for the attention you
gave to our identification of the obstacles being encountered by American non-governmental
Board of Directors organizations, many with long histories in Gaza, as they try to respond to the effects of the
Kenneth Bacon, Refugees International
David Beckmann, Bread for the World
grave humanitarian crisis in the territory. We also appreciated your kind words about the
Carol Bellamy, World Learning efforts our colleagues in the field make every day to provide food, clean water, medical care,
Sekyu Chang, shelter, education and other critical services to those affected by the blockage and the recent
Korean American Sharing Movement
Julius Coles, Africare fighting.
Helene D. Gayle, CARE USA
Anne Lynam Goddard, In the weeks since we spoke there has been some relaxation on restrictions on movement of
Christian Children’s Fund
Lee H. Hamilton, humanitarian personnel and supplies into Gaza. However, for personnel the process remains
Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars unpredictable and time-consuming, hindering the ability of NGOs to ramp up their programs
Neal Keny-Guyer, Mercy Corps
Elizabeth Latham, US Committee for UNDP
in the face of overwhelming needs. Arbitrary decisions on what food will be allowed into
Jo Luck, Heifer International Gaza have largely ceased – so pasta is no longer an issue. But tight and at times unreasonable
John McCullough, Church World Service documentation requirements for medical shipments constrict the flow of these vital
Mary Ellen McNish,
American Friends Service Committee
commodities. Persistent difficulties obtaining authorization for shipments of building
Hugh Parmer, American Refugee Committee supplies impede work on shelter rehabilitation, repair of schools and clinics, and on other
Daniel E. Pellegrom, Pathfinder International income generating and livelihood support programs in which American NGOs wish to
Linda Pfeiffer, INMED
Robert Radtke, engage or expand.
Episcopal Relief and Development
Carol Peasley, During our conversation you kindly offered to look into the issue of OFAC licenses for
Centre for Development & Population Activities
Carter Roberts, World Wildlife Fund American NGOs working in Gaza. More than a half dozen American NGOs within our
George Rupp, coalition have, or are in the process of, applying for such licenses. The first of these requests
International Rescue Committee
Zainab Salbi,
have been referred by the Treasury to the Office of Israel and Palestinian Affairs for review
Women for Women International by the State Department. Our members will need these licenses in order to provide
Ron Sconyers, Physicians for Peace assistance on the scale necessary to halt the ongoing decline in the physical and mental
Kathy Spahn, Helen Keller International
Richard Stearns, World Vision
health of Gaza’s civilian population. We will be deeply grateful for any measures you can
Tsehaye Teferra, take to prompt a timely and sympathetic response to these applications.
Ethiopian Community Development Council
Emily Untermeyer, Amigos de las Americas
You have once again taken on a very difficult assignment with a long history and uncertain
prospects. We were reassured to hear you speak of the full support you are receiving from
the President and Secretary of State Clinton. We hope you will have an opportunity to visit
1400 16th St., NW
Suite 210
with some of our colleagues working in Gaza. In the meantime you have our confidence,
Washington, DC 20036 gratitude and prayers.
PHONE: (202) 667-8227
FAX: (202) 667-8236 Sincerely,

Samuel A. Worthington
President and CEO

InterAction is a membership association of US private voluntary organizations engaged in international humanitarian efforts including
relief, development, refugee assistance, environmental protection, population programming, policy advocacy, and education.