Amman, Jordan, 01 April 2018 – The OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) and UNDP’s Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People (UNDP/PAPP) signed agreements worth USD 1.16 million to implement projects in support of the resilience of Palestinians residing in East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip. The new agreements aim at providing a sustainable source of drinking water to schools and university students in the Gaza Strip as well as increasing access to healthcare services for cancer patients in East Jerusalem and the visually impaired in the Gaza Strip.
At the signature ceremony, OFID Director-General Suleiman J Al-Herbish said the new agreements underlined OFID’s long-term partnership with UNDP, which spanned 40 years. He spoke of the “remarkable effectiveness and high social impact” of the first phase of the Augusta Victoria Hospital project – also supported by OFID and stated that it was this success that had encouraged OFID to lend its support to Phase II, which would ultimately “safeguard beneficiary communities’ existence in Jerusalem and reinforce their social capital and cohesion.” Al-Herbish also reiterated OFID’s continued commitment to supporting its partners in Palestine in their mandate and mission of “improving the livelihoods and prospects of the Palestinian People.”
The aforementioned East Jerusalem agreement, worth USD 500,000, constitutes phase two of the upgrading and development of the chemotherapy treatment day-care centre at the Augusta Victoria Hospital. The new phase will include the renovation and expansion of an existing wing under the chemotherapy department, provision of medical equipment and furnishing the designated area. Around 4,500 Palestinians are expected to benefit annually from enhanced access to cancer treatment in East Jerusalem.
The second agreement, worth USD 400,000, targets 3,000 school and 28,000 university students across the Gaza Strip. It includes the provision of a sustainable clean water source through the installation of eight small scale desalination units in three schools and four universities, and rehabilitation of existing desalination units at public schools in the Gaza Strip.
The third agreement, which also targets the Gaza Strip, includes the construction of a service building for visually impaired children residing in the Middle Area Governorate. The USD 260,000 intervention will focus on the construction of a two-storey building that incorporates a kindergarten, four classrooms, three rooms for rehabilitation programmes, a room for optometry, a library, multi-purpose training halls, a laboratory and administrative rooms. The new building will host 400 children currently being accommodated in rented premises.
Thanking Mr Al-Herbish for OFID’s support, Mr Roberto Valent, UNDP Special Representative of the Administrator, highlighted that the agreements signed today are critical in supporting the resilience of the Palestinian people and improving their livelihoods. “UNDP and OFID have a longstanding partnership with the Palestinian people. I am confident that these new projects will be another key milestone in support of the Palestinian people and a step towards the achievement of the 2030 agenda for development”, he added.
The agreements were signed by Al-Herbish and Valent on the sidelines of a signatory ceremony with other OFID partners including the Islamic Development Bank, UNRWA and the Madrasati Palestine Initiative.
Including the newly-signed agreements, OFID has extended over USD 9.66 million in grant support to UNDP in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip. These projects include the rehabilitation of houses, the installation of solar energy facilities in health and education institutions, the provision of short- and medium-term employment opportunities for young professionals, the development of irrigation systems and the enhancement of access to health care facilities through the establishment of a neurology department, the rehabilitation, expansion and equipping of a chemotherapy department, as well as the renovation of maternity clinics.
About OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID)
OFID is the development finance institution established by the Member States of OPEC in 1976 as a channel of aid to developing countries. OFID works in cooperation with developing country partners and the international donor community to stimulate economic growth and alleviate poverty in all disadvantaged regions of the world. It does this by providing financing to build essential infrastructure, strengthen social services delivery and promote productivity, competitiveness and trade. OFID’s work is people-centered, focusing on projects that meet basic needs – such as food, energy, clean water and sanitation, healthcare and education – with the aim of encouraging self-reliance and inspiring hope for the future.
About United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
UNDP partners with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crisis, and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life for everyone. On the ground in more than 170 countries and territories, we offer global perspective and local insight to help empower lives and build resilient nations. For more information on UNDP’s work in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip, visit www.ps.undp.org.