The Government of Italy contributes 3 million Euro in support of area C and East Jerusalem through UNDP
Ramallah – His Excellency Prime Minister Rami Al Hamdallah announced today a three million Euro contribution from the Government of Italy in support of the Facilitating Access to Infrastructure Resilience in Area C and East Jerusalem programme (FAIR) in the presence of H.E. Davide La Cecilia, Consul General of Italy and Mr Frode Mauring, UNDP Special Representative of the Administrator.
“This generous contribution is very important to contribute in achieving our Government endeavours for developing East Jerusalem and the so-called “Area C,” which falls in line with the Government’s strategic plans for attaining ownership of our nation-building project, and towards a two-state solution” said H.E. Prime Minister Al Hamdallah.
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 donation will directly contribute to a pool fund to support FAIR initiatives in East Jerusalem and Area C.
Davide La Cecilia, Consul General of Italy, highlighted that the Government of Italy and the European Union recognize the importance and potential of Area C in order to secure long-term viability of Palestinian institutions. “Through the FAIR programme we will continue to build Palestinian capacities by supporting national ownership and delivery of essential services and infrastructure in Area C and East Jerusalem, in addition to targeting marginalized Palestinian communities in both areas in order to safeguard their existence” he added.
The programme is jointly implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Local Government and UNDP with specific focus on vital sectors such as health, education, housing, cultural heritage, energy, transportation, water and wastewater. 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.
UNDP Special Representative of the Administrator, Frode Mauring 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. “UNDP is proud to be associated with this Palestinian Led initiative that we are facilitating. Area C holds the majority of the territory’s water, agricultural land and has the resources necessary to build a viable Palestinian economy” he added.
The FAIR programme is part of the Palestinian National Development Plan for 2014 – 2016. The proposed budget to implement the programme is USD 51 million over a three-year period. 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 donor community.
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.
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