UN Secretary General visits UNDP fishermen project in Gaza
Gaza Strip, 14 October 2014 – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visited one of the UNDP projects that support Gaza fisheries, where he met with Gaza’s sole registered fisherwoman.
“The challenges I face are not because I am a woman but because of the harsh circumstances we live in,” said Madleen to the Secretary General. “I had to leave school at 13 to work on my father’s boat and support my family. I would have loved to continue my education and have a career. But I do not regret it because I saved my family and I love the sea”.
The €126,000 investment to the fishery sector is strengthening livelihoods through the construction of 24 brick huts for 168 fishermen in Gaza’s port to enable them to secure their fishing equipment. The brick huts will allow fishermen to store their tools and also reduce their maintenance costs. The project is funded by the Government of Germany through its development bank (KfW), and implemented by UNDP’s programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People.
It is worth noting that Gaza has approximately 3,500 fishermen who support 35,000 people, from among the most vulnerable in the Gaza society . Since the imposition of the blockade on Gaza in 2007, fishermen have entered the food insecure category and their reliance on food aid has increased. The current fishing limit (6NM) is less than one third of the 20 NM fishing area allocated under the Oslo Accords.
The Secretary General’s visit to Gaza follows the Cairo international conference on Gaza’s reconstruction. During the visit, he witnessed the extent of the damage caused during the 51-day Israeli Operation on Gaza and visited UNRWA facilities, in addition to the UNDP fisheries project site.
Dania Darwish, Communications Specialist, Tel. +972-2-6268229 – e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on UNDP/PAPP see http://www.ps.undp.org.