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Source: United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
23 November 2010

Press Release
Italian Foreign Minister Opens a Multipurpose Hall in Jericho
Implemented by UNDP

Jericho, November 23rd, 2010 – Today the Jericho community marks an important step as they inaugurate a multipurpose hall at Terra Santa School. The project implemented in coordination with the Custodia Di Terra Sant by UNDP/PAPP, with a budget of US$495,022, is part of the Government of Italy’s support to the development of the education sector in the occupied Palestinian territory.

The project aims to provide a new 530 square meter multi purpose hall that will accommodate approximately 520 people, in addition to the construction of internal finishing works at the Terra Santa kindergarten. The hall is expected to become a central place for strengthening community life in the Jericho district as residents will be able to hold cultural events and community meetings. The hall will also be used for educational purposes and workshops. As for the Kindergarten, it will provide classrooms, and facilities which have been built according to high quality construction criteria to provide high quality care services to the children.

Among the guests of the official ceremony were Italian Foreign Minister H.E. Franco Fratini, Mr. Luciano Pezzotti, Consul General of Italy, Mr. Majed Al Fitiani, Acting Governor of Jericho, Mr. Hasan Saleh, Mayor of Jericho, H.E. Lamis Alami, Minister of Education and Higher Education, Dr. Saeb Erikat, Head of Negotiations Affairs Department, and Mr. Timothy Rothermel, UNDP Special Representative of the Administrator.

Italian Foreign Minister highlighted that the very reason he is here is to show how much the Italian People care about Palestinian children and about their education. “As a matter of fact, we are convinced that education provides with the basic materials needed to build a solid future of peace. Hopefully, a future not that far, when an independent Palestinian State could live side by side with the State of Israel in peace and security,” H.E. Franco Fratini added.

In her address, H.E. Lamis Alami, Minister of Education and Higher Education thanked the Italian Government for their continuous support to the education sector which allows Palestinian children a better opportunity to exercise their right to education in a safe and modern environment.

“This project is the latest product of a fine partnership which has made a large contribution to education in the West Bank” said Mr. Timothy Rothermel, Special Representative of UNDP. “Not only does the hall serve as an extra space for students; at the same time, it provides a recreational area for the whole community to hold social and cultural activities.” he added.

With over 1/3 of the Palestinian population enrolled in either schools or universities, the Support to the Palestinian Education System Programme (SPEP) is regarded as an important partner in the development of the Palestinian education system. The US$7 million SPEP programme includes the construction of schools, rehabilitation works, providing 200 schools with the needed equipment, in addition to technical assistance to the MOEHE and 24 schools. As a whole, SPEP promotes a developmental approach focusing on the school as the main player for self-improvement.

For further information, please contact:
In Jerusalem: Dania Darwish, Communications Officer, Tel. +972-2-6268229 – e-mail:, Conal Urquhart,
External Relations Advisor, Tel. +972-2-6268200 – e-mail:
For more information on UNDP/PAPP see .

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