Bethlehem, Palestine 17 May 2018 ---A team of UN-Habitat officials have concluded aa successful mission to conduct a rapid assessment of basic service provision in the city of Bethlehem and the refugee camp.

The mission that was carried out by officials from the UN-Habitat office in Palestine and the Urban Basic Services Branch in Kenya was under a project funded by the Japan Supplementary Budget to support Integrated Provision of Access to Basic Services (Transport, Waste and Drainage) to Bethlehem City and Refugee Camp.

The project is implemented in partnership with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) to work with Bethlehem Municipality and the Refugees Camps of Aida and Beit Jibrin, respectively during April 2018 – March 2019.

The mission aimed at conducting rapid assessment on current status of basic services provision for transport, drainage and waste management in the area of Bethlehem Municipality, to be able to come up with sustainable strategies for the improved provision of basic services (transport, drainage and waste management) through a participatory approach.

The mission met with a host of key stakeholders and partners, including representatives from the Ministry of Local Government, Bethlehem Municipality, Bethlehem Joint Services Council for Solid Waste Management (JSC), Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (WSSA), Applied Research Institute Jerusalem (ARIJ), Community Development Group (CDG) and UNRWA. ‘We are grateful for the efforts led by UN-Habitat to support us in providing better urban basic services, in alignment with our vision for the years 2018-2021, said Mr. Anthon Salman, Mayor of Bethlehem. ‘We look forward to working with UN-Habitat and development partners to identify gaps to respond to the needs of citizens on the ground’, he added.

‘The integrated provision of urban basic services is a key issue of interest for Palestinian local authorities, including the city of Bethlehem, and we are happy that we started the work on the ground that will be instrumental in realizing the Sustainable Development Goals and the New Urban Agenda’, said Mr. Zeyad Elshakra, Head of UN-Habitat in Palestine.