New York, 7 May 2002: The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has earmarked US $1.5 million for a recovery programme for the Palestinian Authority's institutions. The programme will not only focus on physical damages to buildings and equipment, but also on strengthening staff through training and policy advice. An existing programme, the "Coalition for Accountability and Integrity," will also contribute to ensuring transparency in the Palestinian Authority.
"Without an efficient and transparent Palestinian public administration, there will be no foundation for peace in the occupied Palestinian territories," said Timothy Rothermel, Special Representative of the UNDP Administrator, Programme for Assistance to the Palestinian People. "I think it is in the interest of all parties in the conflict to have an administration that is able to provide its people with basic social services, education, free trade and all the factors that an open, democratic and prosperous society depends on," he said.
UNDP officials estimate that the Palestinian Authority's central institutions in Ramallah suffered damages to buildings and office equipment worth approximately $16 million during the recent Israeli incursions. "The dollar amount only reflects physical damage and does not include invaluable public records from various ministries, including the Ministries of Health, Education and Public Works," said Mr. Rothermel.
A detailed damage assessment for the entire West Bank and Gaza is being carried out by UNDP and other UN bodies, the World Bank, the European Union and the Governments of Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway and the United States. The assessment is undertaken in cooperation with Palestinian central and local institutions, and is scheduled to be presented on 15 May.
For further information, please contact, in Jerusalem: Trygve Olfarnes at (9722) 6268203 (office) or 1 917 607-2206 (mobile) or in New York: Omar Gharzeddine at (212) 906-5171.