The Government of Germany and UNDP Sign a 3.5 million Euro agreement to create employment opportunities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip

18 May 2011

Jerusalem - As part of its continuing effort to tackle unemployment in the occupied Palestinian territory, the Government of Germany, through its Development Bank (KFW), and the United Nations Development Programme signed an agreement in the amount of 3.5 million Euros on Wednesday May 18, 2011 in Ramallah. Mr. Marc Engelhardt, Head of KfW in the occupied Palestinian territory and Mr. Frode Mauring, UNDP Special Representative of the Administrator attended the ceremony.

With unemployment in the West Bank and Gaza Strip at 23.7%, and poverty reaching 25.7%, facilitating job creation is seen as imperative in the effort to reverse these trends. The agreement will complement the seventh phase of the Poverty Oriented Infrastructure through Employment Generation Programme already being implemented for the amount of 8 million Euros. The programme will continue to focus on supporting priority service delivery infrastructure needs of poverty-stricken communities across the West Bank and Gaza.

Mr. Marc Engelhardt, Head of KfW in the occupied Palestinian territory stated that innovation is one of the key characteristics of this programme. “This type of emergency quick impact support is still needed in the west bank and Gaza. We are glad to continue this cooperation with a strong partner like UNDP” he added.

Noting the long-standing relationship between UNDP/PAPP and the Government of Germany, the Special Representative of UNDP/PAPP, Mr. Frode Mauring emphasized the importance of this programme in meeting the priority development needs of Palestinian communities. “ Nine yearsago we started this innovative programme. The impact and results of this German Development Assistance package in support of the Palestinian people has positively changed the lives of tens of thousands of men, women, and children in the oPt.“

The Government of Germany has funded, through KfW and executed by UNDP, over 608 projects in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip through its 83.4 million Euro Employment Generation Programme (EGP), generating over one million workdays and hundreds of permanent jobs. The diverse range of projects have included the rehabilitation or creation of water, sewage and road networks; sports facilities; youth clubs; women’s centers; community service buildings; centers for persons with specialNeeds, health clinics; kindergartens; vocational training centers; rehabilitation of wastewater treatment plants, and hospitals.

Contact Information

Jerusalem: Dania Darwish, Communications Officer, Tel. +972-2-6268229 – e-mail: dania.darwish@undp.org,

Gaza: Najla Shawa, Communications Focal Point, Tel. +972-8-2822167 – e-mail: Najla.shawa@undp.org.