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Source: USAID
31 July 2007

A New Community Center for Beit Fajjar
Under the USAID-Funded Local Democratic Reform Program

Beit Fajjar, West Bank – The mayor of Beit Fajjar, Mr. Omar Takatka, and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) West Bank and Gaza Mission Director, Dr. Howard Sumka, laid the cornerstone for a new community center in a ceremony today in Beit Fajjar, a town north of the city of Hebron. USAID will fund the construction under the Local Democratic Reform Program, which is being implemented by the non-governmental organization CHF International.

Local residents of Beit Fajjar underscored the importance of the new project, saying it reflected the local community’s needs and priorities. Dr. Sumka reiterated in his remarks America’s commitment to the Palestinian people, pointing to USAID’s work to build the capacity of local councils to effectively and competently serve citizens. “The most sustainable projects are identified and then prioritized in a participatory manner between the citizens and their elected local council representatives,” Dr. Sumka added. “This approach is encouraged under the Local Democratic Reform program.”

The Local Democratic Reform Program, known in Arabic as “Tawasol,” is implementing similar West Bank community projects in various partner villages and towns in the West Bank and Gaza, where local community representatives identified needs during workshops held earlier this year.

Since 1993, Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza have received more than $1.7 billion in U.S. economic assistance through USAID. USAID projects aim to combat poverty, improve health and education, create jobs and promote good governance.

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