19 February 2014 – United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator Helen Clark wrapped up a two day visit to the occupied Palestinian territories today which focused on development priorities there and how UNDP could support them.
During her visit, Helen Clark met with Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah and other senior ministers to discuss their development priorities, with UNDP staff, and with Palestinian civil society organizations.
She also visited UNDP projects, including one that assists female entrepreneurs, a water system project in Gaza, and a cultural tourism project near Jericho.
Water Project in the Gaza Strip
95% of the water extracted in Gaza is unsuitable for human consumption, forcing the majority of the population to purchase desalinated water. This is a result of the water table's sustainable yield being over extracted, putting its future viability at risk. Compounding this issue, the sewage network has collapsed, leading to widespread discharge of sewage in the area which has contaminated the aquifer.
To help address this issue, Helen Clark inaugurated a new UNDP-supported water system that creates new water networks and supply services to ensure good quality water is available for a local neighborhood. This project, supported by Japan, will improve the quality of life and health conditions of Gaza’s residents
UNDP has completed more than 200 water supply and sanitation projects in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Projects ranged from strengthening water and sanitation authorities to the construction of water supply and distribution networks, storage reservoirs and house connections.
UNDP’s Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People, also known as PAPP, derives its mandate from the UN General Assembly Resolution 33/147 of 20 December 1978. UNDP was requested “to improve the economic and social conditions of the Palestinian people by identifying their social and economic needs and by establishing concrete projects to that end”.
Christina Lo Nigro
Tel: +1 (212) 906-5301