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Source: UN Development Programme (UNDP)
1 October 2002
Supporting reconstruction efforts
in the occupied Palestinian Territory

The recent incursions by Israeli troops in the occupied Palestinian territory have had a devastating effect on Palestinian economy and development. Coupled with continued closures, the current situation warns of a looming humanitarian crisis. Of the 3 million people of the occupied Palestinian territories, more than two million, some 62 percent, are vulnerable due to food insecurity, housing and shelter damage or because of rural isolation. Over 70 percent of Palestinians are living in poverty (officially set at under $US 2 a day) which is having grave consequences on all aspects of Palestinian life.

In May 2002, an international donor assessment by UNDP and various UN agencies, the Palestinian Red Crescent Society and international NGO's valued physical damage at more than $342 million. The figure does not include income losses, and social and humanitarian costs. The donor assessment found the Nablus area hardest-hit, with repair costs estimated at $114 million. Comparable costs in the Jenin region totaled $88 million, and in Ramallah $52 million.

Since the current crisis began, UNDP/PAPP(Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People) has undertaken a number of emergency initiatives and projects, in addition to its longer-term development activities. In response to the immediate needs at the beginning of the conflict UNDP/PAPP provided medical relief supplies as well as other targeted support to municipalities and village councils to enable them to maintain basic services. To date, the Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery (BCPR) has financed over 8 million towards social mobilization, poverty alleviation and recovery and rehabilitation programmes to PAPP. In addition, BCPR funds have gone to employment generation programmes for women, emergency support to NGO's in the West Bank and local community development funds for restoration, repair and maintenance of basic infrastructure.

Said Tim Rothermel, Special Representative UNDP/PAPP, "The tangible results of UNDP/PAPP's two decades of work are clearly visible in the hundreds of classrooms, water supply networks and sewage collection systems, hospitals and primary health clinics, environmental protection and rehabilitation, and community development projects."

Since its inception in 1978, UNDP/PAPP has made a sustained contribution towards improving the livelihood of the Palestinian people through periods of occupation, civil unrest and partial self rule. It currently has a portfolio of over $145 million worth in ongoing projects active in every part of the West Bank and Gaza Strip and a staff of 150, principally Palestinian employees. UNDP/PAPP has also mobilized approximately $400 million in resources from international donors such as Japan, the United States, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Norway, Italy, Luxembourg, Spain, the Islamic Development Bank and the European Union, as well as more than $20 million from UNDP's central financial resources.

In addition, support has been provided to strengthen the capacity of Palestinian Authority policy and planning mechanisms and to promote decentralized planning and financing for rural development and gender issues across all sectors.

For further information, please contact Tala Dowlatshahi,, Public Information Specialist, BCPR.

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