Japan contributes US$17.4 million emergency package to Palestinians through UNDP
As part of its continuing effort to ease the acute humanitarian crisis in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt.), the Government of Japan announced that it would assist the Palestinian people through the United Nations Development Programme/Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People (UNDP/PAPP) with a package of US$17.4 million. The announcement was made during the Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s visit to the territories.
The principle aim of the assistance is to generate the maximum number of jobs while building essential Palestinian infrastructure. The programme will be implemented by UNDP/PAPP and includes the following components:
1. An emergency water supply and rehabilitation programme in Gaza worth US$5,424,106
2. Procurement of equipment for the improvement of solid waste management in the West Bank worth US$5,522,062
3. Employment generation through improving the solid waste management in Gaza worth US$4,860,000
4. Construction and support to strengthening the institutional and management capacities of the Office of the President worth US$1,620,000.
The West Bank and Gaza Strip have experienced great difficulties in solid waste management in recent years. The situation is particularly acute in the Gaza Strip, which has a population of approx. 1.4 million and is considered the most densely populated area in the world.
Noting the long-standing relationship between UNDP/PAPP and the Japanese Government, the Head of the Representative Office of Japan, Mr. Izuru Shimmura stated: “At such difficult times, this grant seeks to create job opportunities in the West Bank and Gaza, where unemployment rates are increasing drastically. I wish to emphasize to the Palestinians our deep commitment to help and to let them know that they are not alone”.
“In times of emergency and peace, whether it is addressing the humanitarian crisis or assisting in the development process, the Japanese Government has shown an unwavering commitment to the development of the Palestinian people. UNDP very much values this close partnership with Japan.” Stated Mr. Jens Toyberg-Frandzen, Special Representative of UNDP/PAPP. “We consider this heartening recognition of UNDP’s ability to implement a broad range of projects as well as our steadfast commitment to provide development support to the Palestinian people, even in the most trying times,” added Mr. Toyberg-Frandzen.
Since 1993 Japan’s financial assistance to the Palestinian People, through UNDP/PAPP, has exceeded $US270 million. Japan’s continuous support to the development process in the oPt targeted a number of sectors including health, water and environment, infrastructure and education.