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13 October 2005
German Government, Palestinian Authority Tackle Unemployment in Palestinian Territories, Sign Memorandum of Understanding
Representative Office of the Federal Republic of Germany
Ref.: Pr 08/2005
German government and Palestinian Authority tackle unemployment in the Palestinian Territories / Signing of a Memorandum of Understanding
His Excellency, Dr. Ghassan Khatib, Palestinian Authority (PA) Minister of Planning, His Excellency Khaled Qawasmi, PA Minister for Local Government, Mr. Miguel Berger, German Representative to the PA and Mr. Timothy Rothermel, UNDP Special Representative, will today sign a Memorandum of Understanding at a ceremony at the Ministry of Planning in Ramallah, to launch the new Employment Generation Programme funded by Germany.
With unemployment in the West Bank and Gaza at alarmingly high levels (27%), and poverty affecting 45% of the population, facilitating job creation is seen as imperative in the effort to reverse these trends. Germany is, therefore, funding a series of programmes – especially in the field of schools and infrastructure rehabilitation – with over 30 Mio. Euro. This is part of the support the German government is giving to the economic recovery in Gaza. Within the framework of the list of projects presented by the PA James Wolfensohn the German contribution is among the highest. The objective is to support the Palestinian people in their effort for better living conditions and economic growth.
In coordination with the PA Ministry of Planning, the 20,000,000 euro project is expected to generate approximately 275,000 workdays. Of the total programme budget, some 3,000,000 euros have been set aside for emergency projects emanating from the recent Israeli disengagement from Gaza, as well as in Jenin in the northern West Bank, where four settlements were dismantled. In addition, two wastewater treatment plants will be rehabilitated in Gaza City and Jenin, and the remaining funds will be allocated to smaller infrastructure projects in communities throughout the West Bank and Gaza.
Since their inception in 2001, the Employment Generation Programmes funded by Germany, executed by the German Development Bank KfW and implemented by UNDP/PAPP, have generated hundreds of micro-projects. Germany’s community-driven approach to projects has enabled communities in the West Bank and Gaza to play an active role in the development process, through the submission of projects that address their main needs and priorities. This has resulted in the implementation of over 300 projects, in approximately 240 communities in cities, towns, villages and refugee camps throughout the West Bank and Gaza.
To date, the Government of Germany has funded a total of five Employment Generation Programmes through KfW and implemented by UNDP/PAPP, totaling 58, 058, 899 euros. The diverse range of projects have included the rehabilitation or creation of water, sewage and road networks, sports facilities, youth clubs, women’s centers, health clinics, kindergartens, vocational training centers and hospitals.
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