On 11 February 2007, in Riyadh, a Memorandum of Understading (MOU) on mutual cooperation between UN-HABITAT and the Saudi Committee was signed by Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka, Executive Director, UN-HABITAT, and H.E. Dr. Sa’id Al-Orabi Al-Harthi, Chairman, Saudi Committee for the Palestinian People Relief, and Advisor to the Minister of Interior. The occasion was witnessed by H.E. Dr. Jamal Al-Shobaki Ambassador of Palestine to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
| ||(Left to right) Mr. Abdalla Abbas, Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka, H.E. Dr. Sa’id Al-Orabi Al-Harthi, Chairman, Saudi Committee for the Palestinian People Relief, H.E. Dr. Jamal Al-Shobaki Ambassador of Palestine to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.|
The MOU provides a framework for the establishment of a “Housing and Income Generating Programme for Widowed and Poor Women in Al Khalil (Hebron), the West Bank, the occupied Palestinian territories”. Over a three year period, the Saudi Committee will provide US$ 6.3 million to finance Programme activities which include the construction of 100 housing units, the development of income generating projects and training for widowed and poor women in addition to building capacities of the Ministry of Labor and Social affairs. The Municipality of Hebron has made a contribution to the establishment of the Programme by providing a piece of land of approximately 7,000 m2 at a cost of US$ 300,000.
Mrs Tibaijuka commended the initiative of His Majesty King Abdulla Bin Abdel Aziz that is helping the Palestinians overcome their differences and agree on the formation of a national unity government. She was pleased that the MOU was signed in the wake of such an auspicious development.
The housing project for the women of Al Khalil is part of a portfolio of activities being implemented within the framework of the Special Human Settlements Programme for the Palestinian People and its Trust Fund. The Executive Director expressed the hope that this will be the beginning of further cooperation between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and UN-HABITAT.
In her meeting, the Executive Director also expressed her appreciation to HRH Prince Naif Bin Abdel Aziz, Minister of Interior and Director General of the Saudi Committee for the Palestinian People Relief, for having graciously approved the grant. She highly commended the efforts of H.E. Dr. Sa’id Al-Orabi Al-Harthi, President of the Saudi Committee and his collleagues for their tireless efforts which culminated in the signing of the MOU.
H.E. Dr. Sa’id Al-Orabi Al-Harthi pointed out that the programme will be implemented speedily in line with international standards. He added that the programme is within the framework of the humanitatian and developmental role of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to benefit the Palestinian people. He said that the Saudi Committee has signed several agreements with other UN agencies to implement relief and development projects in the Palestinian territories.