September 16, 2003, Vienna, Austria - The OPEC Fund for International Development today approved a grant of US$930,000 to help finance a series of social projects designed to address some of the most urgent needs of the poorest, hardest hit communities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Grant resources will be divided among seven organizations in support of projects covering a wide range of sectors:
- US$200,000 will go to the Foundation for the Social Promotion of Culture of Spain for a project to help empower farmers, especially women, by providing them with the skills, training and technical support needed to more effectively serve their communities.
- US$200,000 will support an undertaking to accommodate rising numbers of spinal injury patients at the Abu Raya Rehabilitation Center, Ramallah, West Bank. Grant proceeds will help expand the necessary infrastructure and procure medication and equipment.
- US$150,000 will be provided to Education Action International of the UK, which has designed a scheme to improve the quality of teaching in Palestine through the provision of teacher training services.
- US$250,000 will support an initiative of the Arab Organization for Agricultural Development of the Sudan to help farmers affected by the building of a "separation wall" in the northern West Bank region. The scheme will provide compensation for confiscated land and rehabilitate/construct damaged or destroyed rural infrastructure.
- US$50,000 will go to the El Wafa Medical Rehabilitation Hospital, Gaza Strip, which plans to establish psychological support services for Palestinians who have become disabled as a result of the conflict.
- US$30,000 will help the Center for Agricultural Services, Hebron, West Bank to provide Palestinian women with the means to improve their household incomes and boost food security.
- US$50,000 will be given to the Women's Association for Child Care, Beit Jala, West Bank for setting up an "Open Windows" youth house to encourage social communication and interaction among Palestinian youth, and help them overcome the psychological trauma brought on by the crisis.
This is the fourth grant approved under the Fund's Special Grant Account for Palestine, which was set up with an initial endowment of US$10 million. The first grant was approved in December 2002 to provide financial support to Palestinian universities and students, a second extended earlier this year helped finance the rehabilitation and reconstruction of damaged homes and public buildings, while a third helped purchase emergency medical equipment and supplies for Palestinian hospitals and clinics.
Project: Assistance to Social Projects in Palestine
Sponsoring organizations/project titles:
The Foundation for the Social Promotion of Culture, Spain (US$200,000): Empowerment of farmers and women to serve their communities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip
Abu Raya Rehabilitation Center, Ramallah, West Bank (US$200,000): Increasing the operational capacity of the K. Abu Raya Rehabilitation Center
Education Action International, UK (US$150,000): Improving the quality of Palestinian education
Arab Organization for Agricultural Development, the Sudan (US$250,000): Supporting farmers affected by the "separation wall"
El Wafa Medical Rehabilitation Hospital, Gaza Strip (US$50,000): Development of psychological services for disabled Palestinians
The Center for Agricultural Services, Hebron, West Bank (US$30,000) Empowerment of Palestinian women
Women's Association for Child Care, Beit Jala, West Bank (US$50,000): "Open Windows" Youth House in Bethlehem
OPEC Fund grant: US$930,000
Beneficiary country: Palestine
Grant administrator: Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development
Project duration: varies