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Source: United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
7 May 2009



PRESS RELEASE
The Governments of India, Brazil & South Africa (IBSA), through UNDP, fund
The Construction of a Multipurpose
Sports Centre in Ramallah


Ramallah, May 07, 2009 – India, Brazil and South Africa today launched their first major aid project in the occupied Palestinian territory in laying the cornerstone for a new sports centre in Ramallah. The construction of the Sports centre, which will cost $1 million, is part of a pioneering initiative implemented by India, Brazil, South Africa (IBSA) Forum to enhance cooperation amongst developing countries in the fight against hunger and poverty. The project will consist of the construction of a 1000 square meter multipurpose sports hall comprising an indoor basketball, volleyball, indoor soccer, tennis, and handball court, according to international standards. In addition, the facility will be utilized for gymnastics as well as other sporting activities

This project is the first of a three-year (2008 –2010) $1 million per year pledge made at the Paris Donors Conference by IBSA. For the year 2009, IBSA will also contribute to the reconstruction and equipping of one high school in the Gaza Strip.

H.E. Tahani Abu Daqqah, Minister of Youth and Sports, Dr. Said Abu Ali, Governor of Al Bireh/Ramallah district, Mr. Bishwadip Dey, Representative of India, Ms. Ligia Maria Scherer, Representative of Brazil, Mr. Lehlohonolo Shadrack Ted Pekane, Representative of South Africa, Ms. Janet Michael, Mayor of Ramallah, and Mr. Jens Toyberg Frandzen, UNDP Special Representative of the Administrator marked the launch of the Multipurpose Sports centre in Ramallah on Thursday, the 7th May, 2009. The ceremony included a symbolic laying of a cornerstone to initiate the construction of the Facility.

The location of the centre will allow children, youth and families across the economic spectrum to easily access and utilize the facility in advancement of their athletic skills as well as their physical well-being. The new facility will seat 800 spectators for sporting events and competitions. In addition, retractable seating will be engaged in the center to allow for future expansion.

“India, Brazil and South Africa have always supported the legitimate rights of the Palestinian People for Independence and Statehood” said IBSA representative Ligia Maria Scherer, “The building of the Sports Center in Ramallah, funded by IBSA, is a concrete gesture underlying that political commitment.”.

The project, implemented through the United Nations Development Programme’s Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People, is in line with the Palestinian Reform and Development Plan (PRDP), which plans for the improvement of daily lives of Palestinians through the provision of public recreational facilities. It will benefit Palestinian youth and will have a positive impact on young girls and women’s participation in sports activities.

India, Brazil and South Africa Forum United Nations Development Programme Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People “Sport is a healer and a catalyst for development, social cohesion, and reflects local, regional, as well as national pride. We hope that this will be the beginning of a Palestinian sports strategy which will give young Palestinians the opportunity to train and compete, firstly among themselves and then hopefully with their international peers, just like sportsmen and women all over the world”, said Jens Toyberg- Frandzen, Special Representative for UNDP’s Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People.

It is worth noting that the project will provide the supporting infrastructure for the pilot Palestinian Youth Sports League (PYSL), which will provide children and youth between the ages of 5 and 18 with an organized approach to focusing their energies in developing their athletic and team work skills.

UNDP/PAPP will be utilizing US$60,000 of its own resources to support the PYSL project in addition to the US$40,000 contributed by IBSA through the project.

The project is expected to serve in the fight against poverty and hunger by mobilizing a vulnerable community and age demographic and encouraging them to engage in peaceful and positive activities.


Note to editor:
The IBSA objectives include the combating of poverty and hunger; providing development impact attributable to IBSA’s cooperation, implementing scalable and replicable projects, developing the capacity of the beneficiary community; fostering a sense of ownership by the beneficiary community and promoting and engaging Southern experts and institutions.


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.

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