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Source: United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
23 March 2009




PRESS RELEASE
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and UNDP sign an agreement for
reconstruction efforts in Gaza

Beirut, March 23, 2009 - The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme signed a US$7.6 million agreement on Monday, 23rd March 2009, to launch the Gaza Housing Project. The project is part of an over US$20 million donation to UNDP, UN-HABITAT, WFP, and UNIFEM to support reconstruction and recovery efforts in Gaza. HRH Prince Nayef Bin Abdulaziz, Minister of Interior, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and Ms. Marta Ruedas, UN Resident Coordinator in Lebanon signed the agreement on behalf of the named UN agencies.

This important housing project is being spearheaded by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Campaign for Relief of the Palestinian People in Gaza and implemented by the UNDP’s Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People (UNDP/PAPP). The project, worth US$7.6 million, will include the construction of 100 housing units in the Gaza Strip and will provide immediate shelter to some of the Palestinian families who have been displaced due to the recent military operation in Gaza.

The head of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Relief Campaign for the Palestinian People in Gaza, Dr. Sa’id Al Harthi emphesized the Kingdom's commitment to the Palestinian Cause as well as the provision of all necessary services to meet the urgent and basic needs of the Palestinian people. “the four agreements signed with the U.N. today are to implement a number of urgent humanitarian relief programmes in Gaza including the construction of more than 100 housing units, the provision of critical medical supplies and occupational training for Palestinian women” he stated.

In addition to the US$7.6 million allocated to UNDP, the agreement included US$7.6 million to the UN Human Settlements Programme (HABITAT), US$4 million to the UN World Food Programme (WFP) and US$1,273,300 to the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM).

Ms. Ruedas, UNDP Resident Coordinator and Representative, thanked the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the efforts made not only in restoring the infrastructure but also the livelihoods in Gaza. “This is not a unique contribution. Many donations have been made so far, which shows the solidarity of Saudi Arabia with the Palestinians. The UN agencies have been engaged in Gaza for many years. It’s very hard and necessary labor that is only possible through the support and partnership of sisters and brothers countries like Saudi Arabia.”

It is worth noting that the ceremony was also attended by H.E. the special envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General of Humanitarian Affairs Ambassador Abdelaziz Ben Mohamed El Rakban, the general secretary of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Campaign for relief of the Palestinians in Gaza, Mr. Mubarak El Bekr, PLO Representative in Lebanon Ambassador Abbas Zaki, the Chairman of the Lebanese–Palestinian Dialogue committee, Ambassador Khalill Makkawi, an official delegation from the Kingdom of the Saudi Arabia, representatives from UN agencies and from the Gulf countries.


For further information, please contact:
In Jerusalem: Dania Darwish, Communications Officer, Tel. +972-2-6268229 – e-mail: dania.darwish@undp.org. In New York: Sausan Ghosheh Communication’s officer, Tel. +1 (212) 906-5382 – e-mail: sausan.ghosheh@undp.org. For more information on UNDP/PAPP see http://www.undp.ps .

UNDP is the UN’s global development network, advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life. We are on the ground in 166 countries, working with them on their own solutions to global and national development challenges. As they develop local capacity, they draw on the people of UNDP and our wide range of partners.

4A Yakubi St., Jerusalem, 91191, P.O. Box: 51359 Tel: (972 2) 626 8200 Fax: (972 2) 626 8222 www.undp.ps

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