New Projects Announced for Area C by the Ministry of Local Government, UNDP and Italy
Jan 20, 2016
Ramallah, 20 January 2016 – The Steering Committee for the Facilitating Access to Infrastructure Resilience in Area C and East Jerusalem programme (FAIR) approved the second package of six essential infrastructure projects worth over USD 1.2 million, with funding from the Government of Italy.
The FAIR Steering Committee was represented by H.E. Dr Hussein Al Araj, Minister of Local Government, Mr Roberto Valent, UNDP Special Representative of the Administrator, H. E. Davide La Cecilia, Consul General of Italy, Dr Vincenzo Racalbuto, Head of the Italian Development Cooperation Agency and representatives from the Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Jerusalem Affairs and Ministry of Agriculture.
H.E. Dr Hussein Al Araj, Minister of Local Government and Head of the FAIR Steering Committee, emphasized the importance of this programme in supporting Palestinian national plans in achieving local development in Area C and East Jerusalem.
The FAIR programme is a multi-donor platform which aims to empower and strengthen national institutions to plan and deliver essential public and social Infrastructure in Area C and East Jerusalem through providing increased access to sustainable, equitable and affordable infrastructure. The Italian contribution will directly feed into a pool fund to support FAIR initiatives in East Jerusalem and Area C. The project is also supported by Norway, Bahrain and OFID, for projects worth over USD 7 million.
“Our contribution, added H. E. Davide La Cecilia the Consul General of Italy, will support the presence of the Palestinian population in Area C and will enhance the infrastructure in Bethlehem in order to strengthen the hospitality potential and economic development”.
The second package of projects endorsed by the FAIR Steering Committee includes the rehabilitation and upgrading of the main northern entrance of Bethlehem (USD 525,000), the rehabilitation of agriculture roads in Wadi Fukin (USD 75,000), rehabilitation of Al Bwera connecting road in Hebron (USD 95,000), rehabilitation of Izbet Abu Adam road in Salfeet (USD 80,000), rehabilitation of the connecting road between Barta'a, Khirbet Barta'a and Khirbet Al Younis in Jenin (USD 150,000), and finally the rehabilitation of an agriculture road in Marj Bin Bani Amer in Jenin (USD 95,000).
UNDP Special Representative of the Administrator, Roberto Valent highlighted the important role taken by the Ministry of Local Government in enhancing coordination and supporting the implementation of the FAIR programme. “Area C holds the majority of the territory’s water, agricultural land and has the resources necessary to build a viable Palestinian economy. Our partnership with the Palestinian Government and Italy is of vital importance as it allows for the provision of basic services and economic empowerment for marginalized and underserved Palestinians to improve their livelihoods and resilience,” he added.
The Steering committee meeting also included a presentation on the progress achieved under the first round of projects endorsed in April 2015, worth USD 1.9 million. The activities in East Jerusalem and Area C are currently under implementation with an overall 60% progress, in addition to the institutional support that is being provided to the Ministry of Local Government for strengthening their implementation capacities.
Furthermore, a number of activities have successfully been implemented, enhancing access to essential social and public infrastructure and strengthening the resilience of Palestinian marginalized communities and improving their livelihoods. These interventions include house rehabilitation for the Custody of Holy Land in the old city of Jerusalem, rehabilitation and improvement of Aqrab- Awarta connecting road, expansion of connecting road in Bani Zaid Village, and rehabilitation and improvements of infrastructure services for Princess Basma School in Jerusalem.
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