Qatar Charity has launched, as part of its pioneering efforts, an over $12mn agricultural projects called “Gherass”, aimed at planting a million fruit trees in Palestine.
According to a spokesperson, the projects will also result in lands reclamation of around 20,000 acres in order to provide sustainable food security in Palestine.
The five-year project, which is part of Qatar Charity’s long term strategy for enhancing food security within Palestine, also aims to support the poverty eradication effort.
The project is going to be implemented in full co-ordination with all NGOs and official bodies within Palestine working in the same field.
Qatar Charity Country director Ramadan Assi (Palestine) said that the project was a national project and opened to institutional partnerships, transparency, co-operation and co-ordination with the Ministry of Agriculture and the departments of Agriculture .
Universities, specialised research centres, Palestinian trees nurseries and Palestinian private sector can also be involved to ensure the sustainability of the important project .
Assi clarified that the implementation of the project will foster the land rehabilitation, reclamation and development of agricultural lands in Palestine.
“This project will also support the establishment of rain water harvesting projects for use in supplemental irrigation to ensure the access to healthy and productive seedlings and trees. The project also aims to include a variety of co-ordinated activities, capacity building and implementation of special applied studies to reach an integrated system of seedlings production,” he said.
In addition, he said the project will create more jobs for the Palestinian farmers through providing various types of appropriate healthy seedlings which are economically feasible and adapted to the Palestinian environment and agricultural areas.
He mentioned that the project will also support poor families by applying the rain water harvesting system (wells and reservoirs to collect rainwater for use in the process of supplementary irrigation), especially during summer.
Assi was optimistic that the project will help to stabilize the Palestinian citizen in their land thus keeping land from confiscation or destruction by the occupation forces and Israeli settlers who uprooted, burnt and destroyed at least 652,532 trees since 1994 until today.
He explained that the project will seek to achieve the overall objective by improving the capacity of 10,000 poor families in the management and reclamation of their own lands, in addition to strengthening the partnership between governmental, non-governmental and private civil society institutions.
Assi added that it will help sustain those people who constantly face land confiscation for settlements and bypass roads that serve Israeli settlers in all areas of West Bank and especially in Jerusalem areas including Jordan Valley areas and those areas isolated after the construction of separation wall.
Qatar Charity in partnership with the(IDB) Islamic Development Bank and (UNDP)United Nation for Development Programmes, has funded the economical empowerment project “Al-Raed -DEEP” targeting about 450 poor families in Palestine.
Last year, up to 90 families have been empowered to become self-reliant. Effort is ongoing to empower an additional 300 poor families in the coming two years.
In addition, Qatar Charity has worked to develop projects for emergency housing, as well as emergency projects to support the fishermen in the Gaza Strip.
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