Friday, September 30, 2011
In a press statement issued Friday, OFID said the initiative is substantially co-financed by OFID with a USD 5 million-grant extended to UNRWA in 2008.
With OFID's support, two school complexes (Mount Tabor and Amqa) were newly constructed and furnished as well as one school (Toubas and Ein Karma) newly furnished and equipped.
The construction works facilitate the transfer of more than 4,400 students to new premises and classrooms in the 2011/2012 academic year. The Amqa complex will host the only secondary school in the UNRWA compound and will also allow some 150 boys and girls to receive vocational training through the Northern Wing Sibleen Training Centre.
Mr. Al-Herbish commended UNRWA and its partners for their efforts and impressive job in the reconstruction of the Nahr el Bared Palestinian Refugee Camp.
He reaffirmed that OFID places the suffering of the Palestinian people at its highest priority and that the OFID Grant Account for Palestine is accorded high importance in the institution's activities.
He further disclosed that UNRWA is one of the oldest partners of OFID in Palestine and that in the past decade this cooperation had taken on a new maturity.
"Today, I address the families and children of Nahr el Bared and convey to them the unwavering support of OFID. The past suffering and survival through such hardship will always resonate in our hearts and push us to continue to do more, specifically capacity building as a cornerstone of sustainable development " he concluded.
"Today, we are at a site of previous suffering which is now finally restored to what we see today, an improved future" Mr. Abu-Faor said at the inauguration ceremony.
He added that "there has to be more work and coordination to give Palestinian people their human rights and their dignity".
Mr. Grandi thanked OFID for its continuous and generous support to UNRWA, particularly its commitment to promoting the education of young Palestinians.
"Improving the education of Palestine refugees is essential for the improvement of their living conditions in general." He told the refugees of Nahr el Bared Palestinian Refugee Camp that they have shown dignity and strength over these past four years, despite the intolerable conditions and prolonged displacement. Neither UNRWA, nor its partners, he argued, will stop until the reconstruction of Palestinian homes is achieved.
OFID's cooperation with UNRWA began in 1979. Assistance was then directed to support Vocational Training Programs in several Palestinian Camps.
In the last 10 years, OFID has expanded its collaboration with UNRWA through the establishment of PalFund in which USD10 million have been engaged toward financing micro-entrepreneurs across the West Bank and Gaza.
In 2009, on the sidelines of UNRWA's 60th Anniversary, OFID launched the UNRWA Scholarship Fund for talented Palestinians in Vienna with a grant of USD1.2 million. The accumulated engagement with UNRWA is over USD28 million.
OFID, UNRWA inaugurate new schools for Palestinian refugees in Lebanon
BERLIN (AP) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel says Israel's decision to green-light new Jewish housing units in east Jerusalem has "raised doubts that the Israeli government is interested in starting serious negotiations" with the Palestinians.
Merkel's spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said in a statement Friday that Merkel has called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to tell him "it is now necessary to dispel those doubts."
Seibert says Merkel told Netanyahu it is important to start negotiations "as soon as possible" on a two-state solution and that in the meantime both sides must refrain from "provocative acts."
The Palestinians condemned the settlement plan after it was announced Tuesday, and the U.S., EU and U.N. all swiftly expressed their disappointment
with full UN membership as Israeli security stands nearby at the Qalandia Israeli
checkpoint near the West Bank town of Ramallah (Reuters/Ammar Awad)
The standing committee on the admission of new members to the world body is comprised of all 15 Security Council members, who are being represented by their UN ambassadors.
The council first discussed the situation in Somalia before recessing ahead of talks about the Palestine statehood application.
On Thursday, the foreign minister in the West Bank government said that eight Security Council members were guaranteed to vote in favor of the bid for full membership of the United Nations.
“The Palestinian Authority is now working to secure the ninth vote,” Riyad al-Malki told Voice of Palestine radio, adding that the PA will seek either Colombia or Bosnia-Herzegovina's vote.
The eight countries set to vote in favor of the UN bid are Russia, China, India, South Africa, Brazil, Lebanon, Nigeria and Gabon, al-Malki was quoted as saying by official PA news agency WAFA.
Maan News Agency
RAMALLAH - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will go on an international tour to muster more support for the Palestinian bid in the United Nations for statehood, a Palestinian newspaper reported Friday.
Palestinian minister of foreign affairs Reyad al-Malki told the Ramallah-based al-Ayyam Daily that Abbas will start his tour next week and will give a speech on October 6 to the European Council in Strasbourg.
"He will also visit on October 7 and October 8 Honduras and two members of the Security Council, Columbia and Portugal, to gain more support for a vote on the bid for a full membership of a Palestinian state," said al-Malki.
Abbas handed the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon a request on September 23 for a full UN membership of the Palestinian statehood and gave a historic speech to the UN General Assembly.
The Security Council has held two sessions this week to debate and study the Palestinian bid. On Thursday, the council members decided to refer the bid to the committee of memberships, which will convene next Friday.
"We already have eight members, who announced that they will vote in favor of the bid," said al-Malki, "We are working on convincing Columbia, Portugal and the Bosnia and Herzegovina to vote in favor."
The Palestinians need the support of at least nine Security Council members to secure that their request is admitted in the 15- member council. However, the foreign minister said earlier the United States has been putting political, economic and even military pressure on the Security Council's non-permanent members to prevent them from supporting the Palestinian move.
The United States, which wants the Palestinians to resume the peace talks with Israel instead of requesting a UN membership, also threatened to veto the request.
"We didn't decide to go to the Security Council in order to fail. We went to the UN because we are certain that we will be able to convince the world to support the Palestinian bid," said al-Malki.