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RCS spends Dh60 million in construction projects in Palestine

posted on 21/05/2005: 724 views

The UAE Red Crescent Society (RCS) is currently implementing 11 construction projects in Jerusalem and other cities of the West Bank, according to report released Friday by UAE Friends Society.

The projects, worth Dh60 million comprise of hospitals, schools, rehabilitation centres in addition to renovation and maintenance of houses. Around Dh15 million will be spent on the construction of a new neighbourhood in Jerusalem, to be named after the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

The bulk of the money will go for the construction sector, followed by health and social sectors. Commenting on the RCS activities in Palestine, Khalifa Nasser Al Suweidi, RCS Chairman of the Board of Directors said the strategy of the charity body revolves around provision of the basic requirements for the dispossessed segment of the Palestinian society.

"Obviously, the people are in dire need of shelter and other basic requirements. That is why we are focusing on construction and renovation of houses,” said Al Suweidi. He added Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of State for Foreign and Chairman of the RCS is particularly keen to alleviate the suffering of the most vulnerable groups on issues such as housing and other basic infrastructure.

Suweidi noted that the large public turnout this month for the reception of Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Information and Culture on the occasion of the inauguration of Sheikh Zayed City in Gaza was a strong evidence that housing is the single most problem that the Palestinians are desperately yearning for.

On the 7th of this month, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Information and Culture cut the ribbon of the Zayed City, a new neighbourhood north of Gaza comprising 736 apartments which will shelter over 25,000 Palestinians.

The residential complex was built at the cost of Dh227 million. The recipients include families whose houses had been destroyed by the Israeli army as well as those bereft of their children by Israel during the last four years.

The UAE-Palestinian ties got a shot in the arm with late President Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan's unabated support to the Palestinian people. Sizeable material and moral assistance has incessantly been flowing to the Palestinian occupied territories ever since the eruption of the first Intifada in September 2000.

The pioneering role the UAE plays in the development process in Palestine cannot go unnoticed. However, the death of Sheikh Zayed on 2 November 2004 added yet another calamity to the Palestinian plight.

It was Zayed who financed a number of housing schemes in Jerusalem and North and South Gaza suburbs, all of which have been named after him.

It was he who ordered the Zayed Foundation for Charitable and Humanitarian Works and the UAE Red Crescent Society (RCS) to meet the medical, social and educational requirements of the Jerusalem population. The ceiling of the Dome of the Rock Mosque in Jerusalem was restored at the expense of the late UAE President following the tremor that jolted the holy city in 2004.

In May 2004, Sheikh Zayed instructed the RCS to rebuild 600 houses demolished by the Israeli occupation troops in Rafah and Zeitoun neighbourhoods. He also ordered the construction of 469 housing units at the cost of US$28 million in Jenin camp, which was destroyed by Israel in April 2004. An agreement to this end was concluded between the RCS and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, UNRWA.

This is over and above the fact that he donated Dh 30 million to the Palestinian needy and US$250 million to build Sheikh Zayed residential city in North Gaza. (The Emirates News Agency, WAM)


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