Palestinian Prime Minister and the Representative of UNDP sign a partnership agreement in support of area C and East Jerusalem
Ramallah – His Excellency Prime Minister Rami Al Hamdallah welcomed today Mr Frode Mauring, UNDP Special Representative of the Administrator to discuss joint efforts in supporting the Government’s national development plans and launch the “FAIR” Facilitating Access to Infrastructure Resilience in ‘Area C’ and East Jerusalem programme.
His Excellency Prime Minister Al Hamdallah highlighted that this agreement comes within the plans and strategies that are developed by the Palestinian government in its quest towards "achieving our goals by having a fully sovereign state on the borders of June 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital." He pointed out that this project seeks to "promote and enable the capacity of our national institutions for the planning and delivery of social and public infrastructure in the so-called “C” areas in East Jerusalem to reach sustainable infrastructure, with an emphasis on the vital sectors such as health,education,housing, energy, transportation, water and waste water.
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 programme,jointly implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Local Government and UNDP, will focus on health, education, housing, cultural heritage, energy, transportation, water and wastewater.
UNDP Special Representative of the Administrator, Mr Frode Mauring congratulated H.E the Prime Minister on the new appointment and reiterated UNDP’s commitment to continue working with the Palestinian Government in supporting the State building agenda and strengthening the Palestinian Government’s outreach in ‘Area C’.
“The programme we are signing today will support resilience and steadfastness of the Palestinian people, improve their livelihoods and empower them to advance local development in their communities”, he added.
The proposed budget for FAIR reached USD 51 million over a period of three years. Once funds are secured, the programme will be implemented under the leadership of the Prime Minister’s Office to ensure full coordination between line ministries as well as other key players and the donor community.Activities, in both East Jerusalem and ‘Area C’,will be identified through community needs assessments carried out by UNDP in close coordination with the Palestinian Government.
The meeting was held on Wednesday 19 June 2013 in the presence of H.E. Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, H.E. Minister of Planning and Development, Mohammed Abu Ramadan, H.E. Deputy Minister of Local Government, Mazen Ghnaim and Frode Mauring, UNDP Special Representative of the Administrator.
It is worth noting that ‘Area C’, which constitutes 62% of the West Bank, is totally controlled by Israel, depriving the Palestinian people of access to an area that contains the bulk of Palestinian economic assets. In addition, ‘Area C’ is the only remaining area that could accommodate the spatial needs for eventual urban and industrial expansion in the West Bank. East Jerusalem too is subjected to policies similar to those imposed in ‘Area C’.
Over one third of East Jerusalem has been expropriated for the construction of Israeli settlements, while only 13% of the annexed area is currently zoned for Palestinian construction -against 35% for settlements.
Dania Darwish, Communication Specialist,
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