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Source: USAID
18 September 2006

USAID Provides Scholarships to Over 2000 Palestinian Students

Abu Dis, West Bank - In a ceremony at the Abu Dis campus of Al Quds University, representatives of the U.S. government announced a $2.4 million scholarship fund to assist over 2000 students during this academic year. The scholarships, awarded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), were announced by Deputy Principal Officer Thomas Duffy. Dr. Hassan Dweik, Vice President of Al-Quds University, opened the event, during which university President, Dr. Sari Nusseibeh, and USAID Acting Director David Harden also spoke. During his remarks, Dr. Nusseibeh thanked the U.S. government for this significant assistance to the students and the university.

For his part, Mr. Duffy praised the contributions Al Quds University has made to educating generations of Palestinians and their cooperation with universities throughout the world. He noted that Al Quds University is internationally recognized as a strong academic institution.

The $2.4 million USAID contribution will fund the studies of needy Palestinian undergraduates with high academic achievements. Simultaneously, USAID is providing Al Quds University with $100,000 of in-kind assistance through the Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI) to furnish 22 new lecture halls, 42 faculty offices, a computer lab and an auditorium.

The new scholarships are part of USAID's four-year Higher Education Support Initiative, managed by the Academy for Educational Development (AED). Launched in 2002, the $15 million program has provided training and education opportunities to hundreds of Palestinian students in local and U.S universities and colleges to prepare the next generation of leaders and managers.

During 2005, USAID's education assistance improved libraries in nine private universities in the West Bank and Gaza, by supplying library equipment, 10,000 books in Arabic and English, and by designing an on-line library catalogue. It also upgraded computer labs at 16 private community colleges and provided scholarships for Palestinian students in technical colleges.

Since 1993, Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza have received more than $1.7 billion in U.S. economic assistance via USAID projects - to combat poverty, improve health and education, create jobs and promote good governance.

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