With funding from Sweden and Austria - UNDP Signs Agreements with NGOs in Support of East Jerusalem
East Jerusalem, 27 March 2014 – Under the auspices of the Ministries of Planning and Administrative Development and Jerusalem Affairs, UNDP’s Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People signed agreements with ten NGOs to implement a USD 1.2 million project to support the resilience of Palestinians residing in East Jerusalem with funding from the Governments of Austria and Sweden through Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).
H.E. Mohammed Abu Ramadan, Minister of State of Planning Affairs highlighted that addressing the needs of Palestinians living in Area C and East Jerusalem is essential for safeguarding their property and source of livelihoods and for staying on their land. “There can be no viable Palestinian State without regaining Area C and East Jerusalem,” he added.
H.E. Adnan Al Husseini, Minister of Jerusalem Affairs emphasized the role of women participation in economic and social development and thanked UNDP and the donors for their support to East Jerusalem institutions.
The signing ceremony represented the launch of the East Jerusalem components for the second phase of the USD 13.6 million Community Resilience and Development Programme (CRDP) implemented by UNDP. The East Jerusalem projects, funded through the second phase, will target a number of sectors including education, economic development, social welfare and cultural heritage.
“East Jerusalem and Area C are of strategic importance to the Government of Sweden with the aim of facilitating a peace process and two-state solution. We see the CRDP as an instrument to implement transitional development interventions there,” said Tomas Brundin, Senior Advisor for MENA at the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “We are pleased with the mutual partnership between the Palestinian Government, represented by the Ministry of Planning, the donor, civil society and UNDP in implementing this important programme in East Jerusalem,” he added.
Maher Daoudi from the Swedish Consulate added, the idea of CRDP started in 2011 to move from relief to development as CRDP aims at supporting the resilience and steadfastness of Palestinians in East Jerusalem and Area C by empowering local stakeholders and safeguard their livelihoods in order to respond with resilience to threats that affect their sustenance on land. Interventions support community infrastructure, protection of natural resources, income generation and protection of human rights. During the first year of the CRDP, a total of 20 projects were supported; eleven in Area C, eight in East Jerusalem and two in the Seam Zone.
Dr Leonhard Moll, Head of Mission at the Austrian Representative Office highlighted that the political, social and economic situation in East Jerusalem is continuously deteriorating. The Government of Austria is pleased to be part of this important programme and wished the NGOs success in implementing their projects despite the challenges.
“Building the resilience of people is key to UNDP’s strategy and mandate, as it requires partners to think beyond the humanitarian assistance framework,” said Frode Mauring, UNDP Special Representative of the Administrator. “The agreements we are signing today through the CRDP are one of the available instruments used to support the resilience and steadfastness of the Palestinian people, improve their livelihoods and empower them to advance development in East Jerusalem,” he added.
The signing ceremony was held on Thursday 27 March 2014 in the presence of H.E. Mohammad Abu Ramadan, Minister of State of Planning Affairs; H.E. Adnan Al Husseini, Minister of Jerusalem Affairs; Dr Leonhard Moll, Head of Mission at the Austrian Representative Office; Tomas Brundin, Senior Advisor for MENA at the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Ingrid Sandström, Acting Head of Cooperation at the Consulate of Sweden; Mr Frode Mauring, UNDP Special Representative of the Administrator and representatives from the ten partner NGOs.
It is worth noting that UNDP is implementing several socio-economic programmes in Area C and East Jerusalem, in particular through the Facilitating Access to Infrastructure Resilience in Area C and East Jerusalem programme (FAIR) and the Deprived Families Economic Empowerment Programme (DEEP).
For further information, please contact:
Dania Darwish, Communications Specialist, Tel. +972-2-6268229 – e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on UNDP/PAPP see http://www.ps.undp.org.