November 5, 2012
Handover Ceremony for the Rehabilitation Work
at Beit Hanina Girls’ School Funded by Government of Japan
On Sunday November 4, 2012, Mr. Junya Matsuura, Japan’s Ambassador for Palestinian affairs and Representative to the PA, and Ms. Jean Gough, Special Representative of UNICEF-oPt, together with Mr. Mohammad Abu-Zeid, Deputy Minister of Education and Higher Education with the attendance of UNICEF-Japan Goodwill Ambassador, Dr. Agnes Chan participated in the handover ceremony for the Rehabilitation work at Beit Hanina Girls’ School which comes under the education component of Japan’s financial support of USD 15.8 million to UNICEF’s activities in the oPt this year.
The contribution of USD 15.8 million funded by the Government of Japan is utilized to address the immediate needs of Palestinian children and mothers in a wide range of areas which are in line with the 2011-2013 Programme Plan of Action signed between the Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Planning and Administrative Development and UNICEF in December 2010, and supports “The Fifth Year Plan” formulated by the Palestinian Ministry of Education and Higher Education. Under this contribution, Beit Hanina Girls School was rehabilitated by UNICEF to improve the quality of education for girl students in grades 5 through 12. Beit Hanina School is one of the 21 schools being rehabilitated by UNICEF with this fund.
The Government of Japan has been contributing to the education sector not only through UNICEF but also directly to the PA. Seven new schools buildings have been constructed and equipped in the governorates of Nablus, Toubas and Jericho and Al Aghwar by a direct assistance to the PA at the amount of 900 million Japanese Yen which was extended in 2009. In 2005 Japan supported the construction of 5 new schools and 12 additional classrooms in the West Bank under CAP II Education project implemented through UNDP with a total amount of USD 5 million. In addition, many school projects, mainly for construction of additional classrooms in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, were funded by Japan mainly through local councils.
Mr. Matsuura in his speech emphasized Japan’s firm commitment of supporting Palestinian people from human security perspective as well as the importance of implementing social and economic development projects needed for Palestinian communities. He also stressed on Japan’s commitment to support Palestinian Children’s Right to Education and the vital role of the education sector and its importance in strengthening the pillars of the future independent Palestinian state. He wished a better future for the people of Palestine, hoping that the students of Beit Hanina School can learn their way to the better future.
The Government of Japan has extended its official development assistance since 1993 for around USD 1.3 billion to the Palestinian people, ranging from economic and social development to humanitarian assistance.