Signing Ceremony with NGOs in East Jerusalem through the Community Resilience and Development Programme (CRDP)

27 Mar 2014

Speech by UNDP Special Representative of the Administrator Mr Frode Mauring

Your Excellences
Honorable Guests

Good morning and welcome to UNDP office in East Jerusalem.

UNDP as the main development arm of the United Nations is proponent of prioritizing development investments to strengthen resilience of the Palestinian people. Among other things this means that we need development investments that contributes to keeping the two–state solution feasible, this means investments in Area C and East Jerusalem and that is where the Community Resilience and Development Programme is a key facility for PA led, NGO implemented interventions.

Today we sign allocations for East Jerusalem. It is the hub of political, geographical, economic and cultural life, and the emblem of the Palestinian national identity as described in the Palestinian National Development Plan launched yesterday.

Unfortunately, the city is in a situation where the population is facing dire living conditions due to the continuation of the Israeli occupation and the limitations it imposes on development responses.

  • 2 out of 3 non-Jewish population lives below poverty line against less than 1 out of 3 of the Jewish population.
  • A staggering 3 out of 4 non-Jewish children in Jerusalem grows up in poverty.
  • Public pre-school facilities in East Jerusalem practically non-existent
  • Huge lack of classrooms, even Israeli High Court demanded that more classrooms need to be built
  • In spite of the Palestinian population has grown 450% since 1967, building permits are practically non-existent

I am certain that I speak for all of us here today when I say that we must do our utmost to change this harsh reality.

The Community Resilience and Development Programme (CRDP) comes as one of the available instruments used to support the steadfastness and perseverance of Palestinians in East Jerusalem.

The partnership between UNDP and the Ministry of Planning and Administrative Development is translating the CRDP into reality, together with the support of the Governments of Sweden, through the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, and Austria.

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.

Ladies and gentlemen, you are aware of the challenges ahead of us in the implementation of the CRDP.

But we have to work together with the Palestinian government, with the NGOs represented here by you, with the political and financial support of development partners like Sweden and Austria, and the coordination of all actors to make a difference on the ground.

The agreements we will be signing today are a result of our shared commitment to support the Jerusalem population, improve livelihoods and empower them to advance socio-economic development in East Jerusalem.

I thank you for your support and wish you the best of luck in your projects. Shukran