Under the Auspices of H.E Prime Minister Al Hamdallah - Right to Education: USD 3.8 million from the Government of Norway to support the Education System in East Jerusalem through UNDP
Ramallah, 20 November 2013 – On behalf of His Excellency Prime Minister Rami Al Hamdallah, Dr Saed Al Kony - Minister of Local Government announced the signing of a USD 3.8 million agreement to support the Right to Education in East Jerusalem project between the Government of Norway, represented by Hans Jacob Frydenlund, and UNDP’s Special Representative of the Administrator Frode Mauring.
His Excellency Dr Saed Al Kony highlighted that “this agreement is a mean for bettering our partnership and commitment in advancing the sustainable development process in the State of Palestine.” He continued by saying that this generous contribution will support East Jerusalem especially that the government will be focusing on Education as a key sector during the formulation of its new Palestinian National Development Plan.
The Right to Education project aims at reinforcing the education system managed by the Jerusalem Directorate of Education in East Jerusalem (JDoE). It will focus on the provision of additional classrooms by transforming residential buildings into school facilities, in addition to providing technical assistance for improving quality education. Through the initial project, a new primary boys school will be established serving 360 students. Support will also be provided to an additional secondary boys school serving 370 students.
“Education has always been an important part of our assistance here and globally,” said Mr Hans Jacob Frydenlund, Representative of Norway. “Through this project we are able to bring forward a concrete measure to strengthen the situation of marginalized groups of students” he added.
The education system in East Jerusalem is fragmented and suffers from a chronic shortage of classrooms, estimated at around 2,200. The shortage of classrooms is projected to grow over the years as the population grows at an anticipated rate of 3-4% annually. In 2012, about 76,000 students were enrolled in East Jerusalem, including basic and secondary education.
UNDP Special Representative of the Administrator, Mr Frode Mauring reiterated UNDP’s commitment to continue working with the Palestinian Government in supporting the State building agenda “Education is a human right but the Right to Education is obviously meaningless without access, including physical access. It is a tremendous pleasure to be signing this agreement today and alleviating some of the challenges of accessing Palestinian education in also in East Jerusalem. Collectively, we can ensure that Palestinian children and youth will have the knowledge and skills they need to reach their potential and further their learning so they can improve their livelihoods and stimulate economic and social development.” he added.
The project, as part of the FAIR programme, will focus on the provision of basic services targeting youth, gender and persons with disability. The Norwegian funding will strengthen the resilience of Palestinian communities and support the response to the challenges facing the education system in East Jerusalem due to the restrictions imposed by the Israeli Authorities on licensing the construction of new school buildings.
The signing ceremony was held on Wednesday 20 November 2013 at the Prime Minister’s office in Ramallah. It was attended by H.E. Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, H.E. Minister of Planning and Development, Mohammed Abu Ramadan, H.E. Dr Ali Abu Zuhri, Minister of Education, H.E. Dr Saed Al Kony, Minister of Local Government, Deputy Minister of Local Government, Mazen Ghnaim, Mr Adnan Al Husseini, Minister of Jerusalem Affairs, H.E Hans Jacob Frydenlund, Government of Norway Representative and Frode Mauring, UNDP Special Representative of the Administrator.
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. 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.
For further information, please contact:
Dania Darwish, Communications Specialist, Tel. +972-2-6268229 – e-mail: email@example.com. For more information on UNDP/PAPP see http://www.undp.ps.