Germany, Switzerland support Palestinian Local Authorities in the fight against CoronaVirus

PNN/ Ramallah/

Germany and Switzerland support the Ministry of Local Government (MoLG) and the Association of Palestinian Local Authorities (APLA) by supplying the local authorities with gear and material to protect their front-line workers in performing their duties during the Corona Virus Pandemic.

Essential staff is being equipped with personal protective gear and materials in order to maintain basic public services such as waste collection and hygiene safeguarding during the ongoing crisis. This includes protective suits, masks, gloves, sprayers and calcium chloride for sanitizing. The items have been procured from the local market. The support is targeting all local authorities in West Bank with an estimated overall value of 200,000 Euros, including 40,000 Euros contribution from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).

Under the supervision and arrangements of all partners, the first two batches of material have been handed over and the remaining supplies shall be delivered within the next 10 days. “The gear and material provided we provide as a member of Team Europe will help the Palestinian local authorities ensure the safe reopening of their offices, thereby minimizing the risk of a new outbreak of the virus,” says the Head of the German Representative office in Ramallah, Christian Clages.

From his side, the Minister of Local Government, Eng. Majdi Al-Saleh, confirmed that “all Local Authorities play an important major role in facing the challenges of the Corona Virus Pandemic by maintained constant provision of services to the citizens during the pandemic by creating innovative solutions”. Al-Saleh also pointed out that the Palestinian Government represented by the Ministry of Local Government is working hard on raising funding and coordinating the efforts of direct response for the Local Authorities.

APLA’s president, Eng. Musa Hadid, stated that “in this situation of huge challenges and extra burdens to the LGUs in Palestine, these protective materials provide better precautionary measures for the Local Authorities’ staff.”

The Corona-related support to Palestinian Local Authorities is part of the Local Governance Reform Programme (LGRP) and the Strengthening Youth for the Stabilization of Palestine Programme (SYSP), both implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Development and Cooperation (BMZ), the German Foreign Office (AA), and the Swiss Development Cooperation. The German Government has been supporting the Palestinian Local authorities for more than 20 years.