The EU Representative Ralph Tarraf and the Palestinian Minister of Local Government Hussein Al Araj inaugurated today the first batch of EU-funded social infrastructure projects in Area C. These projects will address the needs of more than three hundred Palestinian families living in three villages in Qalqiliya governorate north of the West Bank. The projects were implemented by the Municipal Development and Lending Fund (MDLF) under the EU-funded Area C development programme.
In Izbit al-Tabib, a road and a public hall were inaugurated. The road connects the community with the surrounding villages and towns, while the public hall was furnished and supplied with electronic equipment to serve the community and particularly the youth. In Dabaá, the water network was expanded and rehabilitated to provide clean water for the residents and enhance the efficiency of the system through minimizing the water losses. In Ras Tira, a kindergarten and playground were constructed to serve the village and surrounding communities.
"A year ago we witnessed the signature of the grants' implementation agreements of the social infrastructure projects in Area C and here are we today celebrating the inauguration of the first batch of completed projects. Such projects have a direct impact on the daily lives of the Palestinians living in Area C. They ensure and enhance their access to basic human rights such as education and water,'' said the EU Representative Ralph Tarraf at the ceremony in Habla. ''The EU works with the Palestinian Authority to develop Area C and support the Palestinian presence there. The EU supports projects promoting economic development and improving the quality of life of Palestinian communities in Area C in the areas of private sector development, the environment and agriculture. Area C is part of the occupied Palestinian territory and will be part of any viable future Palestinian state,'' he added.
In the past few years, the EU and EU Member States have supported planning in Area C initiated and promoted by the Palestinian Ministry of Local Government. In total an amount of EUR 9.5 million is committed for social infrastructure in Area C. A first grant contract was signed with MDLF in December 2014 with for an amount of EUR 2 million. The contract foresees the construction of 14 social infrastructures in nine localities and all to be completed before the end of 2016.