OPEC Fund extends US$570,000 grant to help finance capacity building projects in Palestine

The OPEC Fund for International Development today approved a grant of US$570,000 to help finance four capacity building projects designed to address some of the most urgent needs of the poorest, hardest hit communities in the West Bank.

The aim is to enable them to secure a decent standard of living. Resources will be divided among the following non-profit, non-governmental organizations:

US$150,000 will go to the Society of Ina’sh El-Usra in Al-Bireh to help finance a project to modernize equipment and improve course curricula at vocational training centers that specialize in teaching sewing and computer skills, allowing them to accommodate double the number of participants;

US$150,000 will be provided to the Early Child Resource Center in Jerusalem to support an in-service teacher training and capacity building program, which aims to provide professional training for existing providers of early childhood education and development in Nablus, Ramallah, Jerusalem and Hebron;

US$120,000 will be extended to the Bethlehem Arab Society for Rehabilitation (BASR) to help finance the establishment of a vocational training program for the disabled at BASR’s main center in Bait-Jala. Courses will be created that are relevant to current market needs and comprise the latest technologies; and

US$150,000 will go towards the Hawwa Center for Culture and Arts, Nablus to help establish a Kana’ni House for impoverished women, which will offer professional courses and short-term training in subjects such as business management, office administration, computer skills and handicrafts.

This is the fifth 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; a third helped purchase emergency medical equipment and supplies for Palestinian hospitals and clinics; while the fourth co-financed seven social projects.

Sector: Multi-sectoral

Project: Assistance for Capacity Building

Sponsored organizations:

- Society of Ina’sh El-Usra in Al-Bireh (US$150,000): Upgrading Vocational Training Courses at the Society

- Early Childhood Resource Center, Jerusalem (US$150,000): In-service Teacher Training and Capacity Building Program

- Bethlehem Arab Society for Rehabilitation (US$120,000): Establishment of a Vocational Training Program

- Hawwa Center for Culture and Arts, Nablus (US$150,000): Establishment of the Kana’ni House

OPEC Fund grant: US$570,000

Beneficiary country: Palestine

Grant administrator: Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development

Project duration: varies