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Source: World Bank
14 March 1997



Community Development for Palestinian Villages


A $10 million International Development Association credit approved on March 11 will help repair public infrastructure and create jobs in West Bank and Gaza villages and small municipalities. An additional $17 million is expected to be raised through donor cofinancing.

"This project will support the needs in remote villages and small municipalities that were not addressed in post-Oslo donor assistance," says task manager Kanthan Shankar.

Over the next two years, about 500 small projects will be created to build and repair water supply and sanitation services, solid waste management, health clinics, primary schools and roads in West Bank and Gaza. Local Government Units will identify local contractors, suppliers and laborers to carry out these projects--thereby generating work and income for Palestinians.

Palestinians in West Bank and Gaza face widespread unemployment, inadequate basic services (such as water supply and sanitation services), poor roads and substandard schools and clinics. The Palestinian Economic Council for Development and Reconstruction (PECDAR) has been financially unable to support needed repairs for small public buildings, roads and basic services that have fallen into disrepair. About 30 percent of the workforce is not working and an additional 15 percent is under-employed. The Israeli border closures a year ago further aggravated conditions in West Bank and Gaza, causing unemployment to soar to 60 percent last March.

Since the closures, the World Bank has administered the emergency Employment Generation Program (EGP) funded by the Holst Fund, which successfully provided over 50,000 temporary, labor intensive jobs such as street cleaning, trash collection, and painting. With this project, the Palestinian Authority and donors are now shifting their focus to infrastructure rehabilitation through small projects, which in addition to creating job opportunities, also builds economically viable capital stock in the villages and small municipalities. For more information, call Jeannie Yamine, (1-202) 473-2318, fax 522-0003, or e-mail jyamine@worldbank.org


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