Italy provides jobs and rebuilding aid in Bethlehem – UNDP press release

Italy provides aid for jobs and rebuilding in Bethlehem

Tuesday, 30 July 2002: The UNDP Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People (UNDP/PAPP) last week launched the second phase of a US$5 million initiative funded by Italy to generate jobs and support rebuilding efforts in Bethlehem Governorate to help Palestinians during the ongoing crisis.

"We very much value this partnership between UNDP/PAPP, Italian Government, the Governorate of Bethlehem and Palestinian civil society," said Timothy Rothermel, Special Representative of UNDP/PAPP. "After the immense destruction that took place in the occupied Palestinian territory, this grant is not only very timely, but also reflects the Italian Government's deep commitment to assisting the Palestinian people, especially in these difficult times."

The first phase of the initiative, launched at the end of last year with a $893,000 grant, assisted seven emergency job projects run by Palestinian institutions, municipalities, civil society groups and Bethlehem refugee camps. Almost all funds for this phase have been disbursed.

The second phase continues the focus on job creation and rebuilding destroyed facilities. It will also provide essential health equipment and support training activities.

The largest component is a $1.2 million allocation for rehabilitating damaged homes. The Ministry of Public Works in cooperation with UNDP/PAPP will carry out this work, with priority given to homes of displaced families.

The Ministry of Public Works, in cooperation with the municipality of Beit Fajjar will construct a major connecting road around the town.The project has earmarked $210,000 for this work. It will also replace destroyed solid waste containers in several municipalities, including Bethlehem, Beit Jala, Beit Sahour, Al Khader, and Ad Doha.

A number of civil society groups, religious and specialized public institutions will also receive aid, including Bethlehem University, the Applied Research Institute, the Chamber of Commerce, the Latin Patriarchate and St. Josephs Girls School.

A vocational training centre will receive aid to restore its facilities and conduct specialized training programmes for its constituencies and the public. The initiative is also assisting Beit Jala hospital and a mental health hospital and providing $360,000 to generate jobs in three refugee camps.

For further information please contact Ehab Shanti, UNDP/PAPP, or Trygve Olfarnes, UNDP Communications Office.

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