oPt

EU funds to help improve road network in five Palestinian municipalities

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Jerusalem/Ramallah 23/10/2008 The Palestinian National Authority has awarded five contracts worth over €2.8 million Euros, provided by the European Union through PEGASE, to improve the road networks in five West Bank municipalities.

Road networks will be improved in the following municipalities, improving access in and around: Jenin, Beit Sahour, Tulkarem, Jhair DC and Qarawat Bani Hassan. The Ministry of Local Government will take the lead for this project, with a contribution of around €2.82 million from the EU.

"This project will make a big difference to the local people using roads in and around these areas and is a helpful contribution from the European Union" said the Minister of Local Government, Eng. Ziad Al Bandak, adding that this would help to create a better environment for the residents.

The European Commission Representative in Jerusalem, Mr. John Kjaer, said "Improving road networks is a simple and effective way to enhance the quality of life of residents in the area. Better roads mean better access for people to public services, such as schools and hospitals, as well as helping to create a more helpful environment for local traders. This contribution reflects the European Union's lasting commitment to the welfare of the Palestinian people."

A total of 19 kilometres of roads will be built and upgraded, which will benefit around 35,000 residents. The project will deliver improved access and circulation in the five municipalities, which will help to support the successful implementation of other priority development activities in those areas.

PEGASE is the main financing mechanism of the European Union, the largest donor to the Palestinians. In 2008, the European Union has committed over €67 million to support the development of infrastructure projects. The funds are part of an overall EU assistance package that was pledged at the Paris donor conference in December 2007. The European Union's assistance programmes through PEGASE address the priority needs of the Palestinian people, as identified by the Palestinian authority.

Contact:

Eng.Hani Kayed, General Director, Ministry of Local Government, 0599252506

Alix de Mauny, Press and Information Manager, European Commission, 054 8024915

Haifa Siam, Press and Information Officer, European Commission, 02 541 5888