Gaza Strip, 30 May 2019 - The United Nations Development Programme and the Government of Japan, in partnership with the Palestinian Ministry of Health, Palestinian Energy and Natural Resources Authority (PENRA) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), inaugurated the Renewable Energy for All: Photo Voltaic Cells for Gaza Hospitals project and celebrated the operation of the solar energy system in four hospitals.
The project, worth US$ 500,000, will provide more than 470,000 Palestinians in Gaza with improved access to health care services. This will be done through the provision of 85 KWp of sustainable electricity supply that will serve four health care laboratories, achieving a 50% saving on energy consumption. Additionally, 540 old fluorescent lamps were replaced with new LED ones.
H.E. Takeshi Okubo, Ambassador for the Palestinian Affairs / Representative of Japan to Palestine expressed his deep gratitude to UNDP as well as the Palestinian counterparts for their efforts in completing this vital project. “For the past decade, the ongoing power shortage in Gaza has severely affected the availability of essential services including health care services. Therefore, the Government of Japan provided an additional grant of US$ 500,000 to UNDP in order to secure power supply for the 4 vital healthcare units with sustainable source of energy utilizing photovoltaic solar system across the Gaza Strip”, he stated. “Japan is committed to supporting humanitarian aspect as well as long term development plans in Gaza as a friend in need, and we hope this project will alleviate the suffering of Gaza’s people”.
Power shortages in Gaza stand at around 75%. This has impacted the availability of essential services, including health care. The project will increase the resilience and improve the wellbeing of the Palestinian population in the Gaza Strip by ensuring equitable access to adequate health services through the provision of a renewable energy source for vital healthcare units at four hospitals.
UNDP head of office in Gaza, Chitose Noguchi, highlighted that while humanitarian fuel has been an essential emergency measure, it is not a sustainable solution. “Since 2011, UNDP has been investing in solar energy, as it believes this is key to solving the energy crisis in Gaza. We have been working across the sectors, including education, health, water and sanitation, and agriculture, to mainstream solar in our projects. UNDP is spearheading these efforts in partnership with the rest of the UN agencies. We have generated over one megawatts of electricity till date”, she added.
The ceremony took place at Al Helal Al Emarati maternity hospital in Rafah on 30 May 2019 and was attended by H.E. Takeshi Okubo, Ambassador for the Palestinian Affairs and Representative of Japan to Palestine, Dr Ashraf Abu Mohadi, Head of International Cooperation at the Ministry of Health, and Ms Chitose Noguchi, Head of UNDP office in Gaza.
It is worth noting that the Government of Japan is considered one of UNDP’s strongest partners, contributing to improving the lives of the Palestinian people. The Government of Japan has provided more than USD 345 million to UNDP/PAPP since 1993 for project implementation in the areas of infrastructure, rubble removal, health, education, agriculture, access to justice, and others.
For further information, please contact:
Ms Dania Darwish, Communications Specialist, Tel. +972-2-6268229 – e-mail: email@example.com or Shahd El-Swerki in Gaza at Tel. +972-8-2822167 – e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on UNDP/PAPP see http://www.ps.undp.org.
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.