Palestinian Minister of Local Government, Hussain Al A'raj, and the EU Representative, Ralph Tarraf, today attended a signing ceremony for EU Grant Agreements for the implementation of social infrastructure projects in Area C. The Municipal Development and Lending Fund (MDLF) and representatives of nine local communities concerned signed the agreements to which the European Union provided EUR 2 million.
This contribution is part of a 9.5 million Euros Area C development programme being funded by the EU, Denmark, France, and the UK. It is the result of a community-based planning approach that involved the local communities. The first package of social infrastructure projects will fund 15 social infrastructure projects in nine localities serving more than 3,000 beneficiaries. The list of funded projects includes kindergartens, water networks, roads, playgrounds, and additional classrooms.
"The European Union is committed to continuing its work in Area C on two fronts: humanitarian assistance and development. The EU provides humanitarian assistance to communities in need in Area C in accordance with the humanitarian imperative. The EU is also working with the Palestinian Authority to develop Area C and support Palestinians living there, '' said the EU Representative, Ralph Tarraf "I would like to recall here Monday's Foreign Affairs Council Conclusions. EU Foreign Ministers emphasized that a fundamental change of policy by Israel with regard to the occupied Palestinian territory, particularly in Area C, would significantly increase economic opportunities, empower Palestinian institutions and enhance stability and security for both Israelis and Palestinians," he added.
In the past few years, the EU and EU Member States have supported developmental
planning in Area C initiated and promoted by the Palestinian Ministry of Local Government. More than hundred Master Plans have been developed. To-date, only three have received an approval from the Israeli authorities.