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1 May 2002
UNDP/PAPP Press Statement
The United Nations Development Programme - Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People (UNDP/PAPP) is alarmed by the ongoing violence in the Palestinian territories and the devastating crisis it has produced. UNDP/PAPP is continuing its efforts to alleviate the dire circumstances many Palestinians find themselves in during this time.
On April 30, as part of its ongoing efforts, a UNDP/PAPP convoy traveled to the Jenin refugee camp and delivered drinking water, diapers, and mattresses for residents in need of these essential provisions. UNDP/PAPP staff members met with the UNRWA camp manager, who represents the camp relief committee, and the Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committee (PARC). They confirmed that previous UNDP/PAPP and other UN agencies' humanitarian aid had been distributed successfully and equitably to residents of the camp. UNDP/PAPP staff members also walked through the site of the camp where the greatest destruction was wrought. This area, where dozens of homes once stood, has been reduced to heaps of rubble. The Chief of Administration at UNDP/PAPP said "This site alone shows that much more humanitarian assistance is needed in order to rebuild the lives of the camp's residents."
The supplies delivered to Jenin are part of $1.5 million (US) grant from UNDP as well as $400,000 (US) pledged from the Islamic Development Bank, the funds of which are to go towards the purchase of humanitarian aid and support for the rebuilding of basic infrastructure.
In an immediate response to requests for additional goods, UNDP/PAPP will purchase 11,284 kits of clothes and kitchen supplies to be delivered to Jenin refugee camp residents on May 2. UNDP/PAPP will purchase the supplies in Jenin in order to give business to local merchants. The funds for these kits have been raised by the UNDP Staff Association at Headquarters and other country offices.
The most recent convoy to Jenin has been preceded by UNDP/PAPP convoys to Ramallah, Nablus, Bethlehem, Tulkarem, and Qalqilya. UNDP/PAPP has not only carried out its own convoys, but has also been a vital partner in other UN agencies' efforts to provide aid to Palestinians in need. UNDP/PAPP's administration supports these agencies through logistical and administrative assistance. It coordinates access to Palestinian towns and refugee camps with Israeli authorities. Likewise, UNDP/PAPP continues to assist sister UN agencies such as UNRWA with drivers, cars, and staff, without which their efforts would prove to be far more difficult.
The UN Volunteer Programme Manager reiterated the need for increased assistance in Jenin and other areas. He focused on human resources saying "UN Volunteers are needed here now more than ever before to respond to the crisis and build the capacity of Palestinian organizations and ministries." There are currently 36 UN Volunteers working in the Palestinian territories, and UNV hopes to recruit additional volunteers to answer the pressing needs brought about by the current situation.
UNDP/PAPP's assistance to the Palestinian people will continue both in terms of humanitarian aid as well as developmental aid. Though the current circumstances are grim, UNDP/PAPP is confident that its efforts are making a difference and improving the lives of the Palestinian people. UNDP/PAPP's staff members are working steadfastly, holding on to the hope of brighter days to come.