BRUSSELS, May 12 (KUNA) -- Belgian Minister of Development Cooperation Meryame Kitir launched on Thursday a new bilateral cooperation program together with Palestinian Prime Minister Shtayyeh.
For the occasion, Minister Kitir was officially received in Ramallah.
For the next five years, the Minister will focus on two priorities: empowering the young people and greening the occupied Palestinian territory, said a Belgian Foreign Ministry statement.
"With this new cooperation program, we are investing in young people so that they can build their own future. Every child deserves to grow up in a green, healthy environment and should have every opportunity to advance through education and employment," she said.
Through the Belgian implementation agency Enabel, Minister Kitir will focus on the construction and renovation of schools. Two new schools will be built in Gaza, one in East Jerusalem and 5 existing schools will be expanded or renovated.
She will also invest in vocational training and education programs that result in a job.
In total, 2300 young Palestinians will have access to a vocational training program and at least 1800 of them will obtain a job in the end.
The second pillar Minister Kitir focuses on a healthy living environment through greening.
In the occupied Palestinian territory, the living environment suffers greatly from waste pollution and contamination. As a result, children often live in unhealthy conditions.
"By investing in recycling and waste management, children can grow up in a healthy environment. Children need green spaces to play, not concrete camps.
These projects also create green jobs and give Palestinian youth the opportunity to help improve their entire environment," she said.
Minister Kitir pointed out that the Belgian development agency Enabel will implement the projects of the new cooperation program in Gaza, East Jerusalem and the West Bank.
For the first time, there is also a fully-fledged program for Gaza, for the situation there has rapidly deteriorated over the last years. Gaza is one of the most densely populated areas in the world, with a youth unemployment rate of more than 60 percent, noted the press release. (end)