OPT: Inauguration of Abu Dees public park with support from the American People
Abu Dees Mayor Ibrahim Jaffal, speaking at the inauguration ceremony, expressed Abu Dees residents' appreciation to the American people, represented by USAID and CHF, for their contributions to their community through the various USAID projects. He pointed out that USAID's PARCS, Local Democratic Reform, Emergency Water and Sanitation, and other programs have had positive impacts on citizens' lives. Mr. Jaffal said those projects "have positively impacted surrounding communities like Al-Sawahreh Al-Sharqieh and Al-Ezarieh, as well as Al-Quds University students." He concluded that PARCS project had elevated people's living conditions.
Dr. Howard Sumka, USAID/West Bank and Gaza Mission Director, expressed the American people's commitment to supporting the Palestinian people and improving their conditions. He said that USAID's PARCS program was a direct USAID contribution to the ordinary citizen who would have space to enjoy his/her time in a healthy and clean environment, and in safety from traffic and unhealthy hazards.
PARCS program aims to improve recreational facilities in the West Bank and Gaza through the reconstruction and rehabilitation of parks, taking into account environmental conditions and public safety while creating a suitable environment for all family members and for children to play safely. The project also takes into account preservation of the historical/archeological sites and the natural environment of the local communities as part of the design and the implementation of the park.
PARCS is implemented in various West Bank and Gaza Strip communities. During the program's first phase, seven public parks were established in Biddya, Arrabeh, Nablus, Beit Fajjar, Beit Lahia and Al-Namsawi Neighborhood in Gaza City in addition to Abu Dis. Under the program's second phase, the project is extending to other communities.
Since 1993, the U.S. Government has spent over $1.7 billion in the West Bank and the Gaza through USAID projects designed to reduce poverty, improve health and education standards, build infrastructure, and improve governance and the rule of law.