Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.
In Bethlehem on November 6, 2013, Secretary Kerry announced an additional $75 million in support of the Palestinian Authority’s High Impact Micro-Infrastructure Initiative (HIMII), bringing the total U.S. Government commitment to $100 million for the initiative.
Germany has committed over $10 million to HIMII projects in the PA.
According to the State dept., HIMII projects will create jobs and fund infrastructure projects throughout the PA, including the construction and repair of health clinics, roads, water systems, community centers, and schools. The HIMII is designed to show tangible benefits to the lives of Palestinians as negotiations advance and lay the groundwork for further economic growth. HIMII is part of a broader economic effort to support the Palestinian economy, which also includes direct budget support, debt relief and private sector investment. The United States views the economic track as a vital complement to the ongoing direct final status negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians.
As part of the HIMII, the Palestinian Authority (PA) selected priority community-based projects to be commenced within the next six months. At the September 25th Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC) meetings in New York, Secretary Kerry committed an initial U.S. contribution of $21 million to the HIMII, which was subsequently increased to $25 million. Secretary Kerry’s announcement of an additional $75 million in funding to support these new PA priority infrastructure projects brings the total U.S. commitment to $100 million.
The United States Government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), has provided over $4.5 billion in assistance to the PA and Gaza since 1994. Over the past ten years, USAID infrastructure projects alone have created more than 127,000 temporary jobs for Palestinians, in addition to generating economic growth and improving living conditions.
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