Signing Ceremony with 53 CSOs in East Jerusalem

May 5, 2014

Speech by UNDP Special Representative of the Administrator Mr Frode Mauring

Your Excellency Adnan Al Husseini, Governor of Jerusalem
Representative of the IDB, Mr Hani Abu Diab
Honourable Guests

It is a pleasure to be with you this afternoon to mark another important milestone in supporting the resilience of the Palestinian population in East Jerusalem with our partners the Governor of Jerusalem and the Islamic Development Bank.

We all know the statistics. East Jerusalem suffers from an almost non-existent economy, high unemployment rate, poor education system, and low wages - factors that are not conducive to achieving sustainable development.

But we have to work together to change this harsh reality.

Despite the challenges, civil society has played a crucial role in supporting Palestinians in East Jerusalem maintain their presence.

UNDP has a number of projects aimed at strengthening the resilience of Palestinians in East Jerusalem in the fields of economic development, infrastructure and cultural heritage.
Recently, UNDP has strengthened and significantly increased its work in East Jerusalem to respond to some of the pressing needs of the Palestinian community.

This included more than 500 families benefiting from economic empowerment, rehabilitation of atleast 100 structures in the old city and surrounding areas, consecutive phases of support to civil society – providing more than 150 grants in the last three years.

Overall, this has impacted the lives of more than 15,000 Jerusalemite households.

The agreements we will be signing today, as a second phase, are a continuation of this partnership and a resemblance of our shared commitment to support the Jerusalem population, empower them to advance socio-economic development and improve livelihoods.

They will also be establishing synergies and initiating dialogues among various stakeholders to strategize the development efforts in East Jerusalem.

In conclusion, I thank the Governor of Jerusalem and the Islamic Development Bank and restate my appreciation for the outstanding partnership we have together. I wish you all success in your programmes.