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3 May 2002
UNDP Special Representative meets Arafat in Ramallah
Ramallah, 3 May 2002 —Timothy Rothermel, Special Representative of the United Nations Development Programme Administrator for the Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People (UNDP/PAPP), met with PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat in his compound in Ramallah in the occupied Palestinian territory today. The purpose of the meeting was to reassure Mr. Arafat of UNDP’s support to help rebuild the Palestinian Authority and its institutions.

The Minister of Health, Dr. Riyad Za’noun, the Minister of Justice, Mr. Freih Abu Meddain, and the Acting Minister of Education, Dr. Na’eem Abu Hummos, of the Palestinian Authority were also present at the meeting.

Mr. Arafat said that UNDP and the United Nations assistance has been “especially beneficial during the past 20 months and has taken even more prominence during the tragic Israeli incursions in the West Bank in recent weeks.”

Throughout the past three weeks, UNDP has provided US$1.9 million in emergency aid. “Now is the time to look at reinstating the Palestinian Authority’s institutional memory and rebuild its infrastructure,” said Mr. Rothermel. Several of the Palestinian Authorities’ ministries, including the Ministry of Education, were severely damaged during the recent Israeli incursions in the West Bank.

The rebuilding of vital infrastructure damaged during the reoccupation has already started. Donor governments, in close cooperation with the UN system, have established a clearinghouse system to respond to repair needs of water, sanitation and electricity facilities. UNDP recently allocated $370,000 to West Bank municipalities for urgent rehabilitation of basic social services.

The Governments of Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway and the United States, in close cooperation with UNDP and the World Bank, are carrying out a comprehensive damage assessment in the West Bank. The assessment is scheduled to be finalized by next Wednesday, 8 May.

For further information, contact, in Jerusalem, Trygve Olfarnes
at 1 917 607-2206, or in New York, Omar Gharzeddine at l 212 906-5171.

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