The Swiss Agency for Development & Cooperation (SDC) launches a new CHF 8 million program to strengthen local governance in the West Bank Villages


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Local news, 05.01.2017

Switzerland, through the Swiss Agency for Development & Cooperation (SDC) launches a new Swiss program of CHF 8 million to strengthen local governance in the rural West Bank Villages. The first phase of the program totals CHF 4.2 million for 2016-2020. The first agreement was signed with the Palestinian Authority amounts CHF 3.03 million to support the delivery of local basic services through the Municipal Development & Lending Fund. The second agreement was signed with the German International Cooperation amounting CHF 850’000.

Under the patronage of Minister of Local Government (MoLG) as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Municipal Development and Lending Fund (MDLF) Dr. Hussein Araj and in the presence of the Representative of Switzerland in Palestine Mr. Paul Garnier, MDLF signed an agreement with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation targeting the marginalized areas for a total amounts of CHF 3.03 million (EUR 2.88 million) for the coming four years. This agreement builds upon the achievements and lessons learnt of previous support to vulnerable and marginalised areas in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip worth CHF 2.5 million. This is part of the continued support of the Swiss Government to the development of the local government sector.

"SDC is joining efforts with the Palestinian Authority in building a democratic Palestinian State accountable to its citizens at local level. Through this program SDC aims at improving the delivery of basic services in the marginalised rural areas of the West Bank. This will complement the current SDC funded activities in the local governance sector, in particular the Swiss support to the Municipal Development Programme" said Veronique Hulmann, the Director of Cooperation of the Swiss Cooperation Office in Jerusalem.

Dr. Araj valued the Swiss Government support to the Palestinian people through providing financial grants that contribute to the implementation of several developmental projects, stressing the importance of this vital project, which focuses on the development of marginalized areas. This is in line with the vision and intensive work of the Palestinian government to develop marginalised areas and achieve sustainable local development. This new contribution stresses the importance of building upon what has been achieved during the previous stages of mutual cooperation between MDLF and SDC that resulted in a positive way in all areas of support. He added that this agreement came as a result of joint efforts made by the MoLG, MDLF, and several donors

Mr. Tawfiq Budairi, the MDLF director stressed the importance of this program for MDLF, which in turn will help to improve economic and social conditions in marginalized areas. He pointed out that the project will be implemented through MDLF, thanks to the Swiss Government which gives support to the Palestinian state and to strengthen the resilience of the citizen in their communities.

The second agreement amounting to CHF 850’000 was signed with the German International Cooperation (GIZ) as a co-financing of its “Local Governance Reform Programme (LGRP) in the oPt” with a view to deepening, rolling-out and upscaling capacity development activities of the Ministry of Local Government owned Capacity Development Plan. Special attention will be given to strengthening the capacities of marginalized rural communities through participatory mechanisms to support territorial integrity, reduction in regional disparities, institutional and socio-economic development as well as social cohesion.

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For more information, please contact Mrs. Veronique Hulmann

Telephone: +972 2 545 2400 - Fax:  +972 2 582 37 57

E-mail:  gaza@eda.admin.ch