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United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
22 December 2005
Israel provides US$25 million to UNDP for Gaza redevelopment project
U.N. Agency’s Palestinian Program to Use Funding for Debris Removal, Economic Rehabilitation of Sites of Demolished Former Settlements
Jerusalem, December 22, 2005
- The United Nations Development Programme’s Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People announced today that it has received a $25 million grant from the Government of Israel for the clearance and rehabilitation of sites once occupied by the evacuated Israeli settlements in the Gaza Strip.
UNDP was asked to undertake the rehabilitation project by the Government of Israel, the Palestinian Authority and the Office of the Special Envoy for the Quartet, James Wolfensohn. With more than 1.2 million tons of debris and rubble to be cleared and recycled, the project will cost US $24.7 million, which will be provided by the Government of Israel. It will take an estimated 18 months to complete, and will employ several hundred Palestinian workers.
UNDP has promised to move as rapidly as possible in clearing the area in order to give Palestinians the opportunity to begin rebuilding on the evacuated sites by June, 2006. The concrete and metal debris cleared from the site will be milled and recycled for use as road paving and building materials, a process that is expected to take a year.
The $25 million grant is believed to be the first donation from the Government of Israel to a UN agency for an economic development project in the Palestinian territories.
“We are very pleased with the trust that all parties have placed in UNDP/PAPP to carry out this task,” said Minna Tyrkk, the acting head of UNDP’s Program of Assistance to the Palestinian People (PAPP).
“This project is important because it not only paves the way for Palestinians to be able to use the land as soon as possible for their development plans, but also because it will generate hundreds of jobs for unemployed Palestinian laborers, contributing to the fight against the rising tide of poverty in the Gaza strip.”
Fact sheets in English, Arabic and Hebrew outlining the details of the project are available on request.
For further information, please contact:
In Jerusalem: Ehab Shanti, Head of Communication, Tel. +972-2-6268207, cell. 972-522269610 – e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; or Dania Darwish, Tel. +972-2-626-8200 – e-mail: email@example.com. In Gaza: Ahmad Abu Nada, Assistant Communications Officer, Tel 972-8-2822167 – e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. In New York: William Orme, External Communications Chief, Tel. +1 (212) 906-5382 – e-mail: email@example.com. For more information on UNDP/PAPP see www.papp.undp.org