Ministry of National Economy, PIEFZA, Jericho Municipality, Government of Japan and UNDP Inaugurate the Mahmoud Darwish Road in Jericho

Dec 15, 2016

Jericho, 15 December 2016 – The Ministry of National Economy, the Palestinian Industrial Estates and Free Zones Authority (PIEFZA), the Government of Japan, Jericho Municipality, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), inaugurated the Mahmoud Darwish Road improving access to the Jericho Agro-Industrial Park (JAIP) and facilitating the movement of materials and products geared for export.  

The project, worth USD 320,000, includes a 500-meter expansion and upgrading of the Mahmoud Darwish Road, in addition to the removal of four high voltage power poles in the vicinity by the Jerusalem District Electricity Company (JDECO) and replacing them with underground connections. During the implementation phase, the project has generated approximately 980 workdays.

H.E. Abeer Odeh, Minister of National Economy and Chairperson of PIEFZA, officially opened this segment of Mahmoud Darwish Road linking the Jericho Agro-Industrial Park (JAIP) with Jericho City. Minister Odeh emphasised that this widened part of the road is a mile stone in the 9.5km exclusive road that would link all industrial estates in Palestine with Jordan and beyond via King Hussein Bridge, facilitating door-to-door movements of manufactured products, raw materials and machineries. “JAIP and the implemented exclusive road are important national tools for achieving our National Export Strategy and Industrial Development Plan,” she stated. This project is an integral part of the Government of Japan’s continuous and generous support to building the independent State of Palestine in political, economic and social sectors. H.E. Minister Odeh thanked Japan for this initiative and announced that the Government of Japan has invested up to date over USD 95 million in the Governorate of Jericho in actualizing the Japanese “Corridor for Peace and Prosperity” initiative aiming to contribute towards the development of sustainable Palestinian economy.

H.E. Takeshi Okubo, Ambassador for Palestinian Affairs, Representative of Japan to the Palestinian Authority, stressed the importance of the JAIP project under the “Corridor for Peace and Prosperity” initiative that aims at promoting regional cooperation and contributing to the creation of sustainable Palestinian economy. “It is our sincere hope that this newly expanded road will lead to further development of JAIP, which will contribute to energizing the Palestinian private sector, increasing exports, and creating more job opportunities for Palestinian people,” he added.

The JAIP Mahmoud Darwish Road is the last project of 17 different interventions funded by the Government of Japan, through UNDP, in cooperation with the Ministries of National Economy, Agriculture, Local Government, Palestinian Energy Authority, Jericho Municipality and the Palestinian Industrial Estates and Free Zones Authority.

The project is part of the Rapid Support for Small Infrastructure in the West Bank in support of the High Impact Micro Infrastructure Initiative (HIMII) projects, which has so far created 11,016 workdays.

Khaled Shahwan, UNDP Deputy Special Representative (Operations) valued the strategic partnership UNDP has with the State of Palestine institutions and the Government of Japan. “We are proud to be part of the JAIP project which we believe will have a positive impact on people’s livelihoods, lay the ground for economic and social growth and support the transformation of the Jordan Valley into a thriving area,” he added.

The inauguration ceremony hosted by H.E. Abeer Odeh, Minister of National Economy, Mr Majed Al Fityani, Governor of Jericho, H.E. Takeshi Okubo, Ambassador for Palestinian Affairs, Representative of Japan to the Palestinian Authority, Mr Mohammad Jalayta, Mayor of Jericho, Dr Ali Shaath, CEO of PIEFZA and Khaled Shahwan, UNDP Deputy Special Representative (Operations).

The project builds upon the Government of Japan’s strategic partnership with UNDP to support of the Palestinian people in various sectors. To date, the Government of Japan has invested over USD 420 million worth of assistance through UNDP.

Contact information

Dania Darwish, Communications Specialist, Tel. +972-2-6268229 – e-mail: dania.darwish@undp.org. For more information on UNDP/PAPP see http://www.ps.undp.org.