CHF International Announces New Partnership with the American Charities for Palestine and the Sheikh Mohammad Shami Foundation

Ramallah - West Bank – CHF International is pleased to announce that in partnership with the American Charities for Palestine, with funding from the Sheikh Mohammed Shami Foundation, we have commenced a Three Hundred Thousand Dollar ($300,000) development project in the West Bank village of Beit Ur Al-Tahta. ACP, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, is a sister organization of ATFP dedicated to help build the education and health sectors in Palestine.

A generous donation of $100,000 to ACP was made by the Sheikh Mohammed Shami Foundation headed by Mr. Farouk Shami of Houston, Texas, Mr. Shami is a member of the Board of the American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP) and a well-known philanthropist. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) matched and supplemented this donation with a $200,000 contribution through the Emergency Jobs Program (EJP) implemented by CHF International. This collaboration was made possible by the Memorandum of Understanding signed by ACP and USAID in August 2008, and between ACP and CHF International in January 2009.

The funds will be used to complete installation of street lights along all of the village roads, including the road leading to a new girls’ high school already donated by the Shami Foundation. Funds will also be leveraged to expand CHF International’s planned construction of road shoulders, sidewalks and retaining walls for the main road in the village and to the road leading to the Mohammad Al-Shami Girls’ School. Construction of the sidewalks will provide safe pedestrian access to the residents and especially to students travelling every day to the newly completed school and to other schools located in the village.

This project will be implemented in coordination with the Beit Ur al-Tahta Village Council, for the benefit of the 4,413 residents of the community and 20,000 people from the surrounding communities who pass through the village on a regular basis. An estimated 3,625 job days will be created for local workers as a result of this project, creating much needed employment opportunities in an area that has around 50% unemployment.

The Emergency Jobs Program (EJP), funded by USAID, aims to alleviate humanitarian and short-term unemployment problems, laying the foundations for more sustainable economic vitality through labor-intensive and community managed methods for the construction, rehabilitation and maintenance of small-scale infrastructure. Projects are designed in close collaboration with communities, the public sector, and the private sector. During the project period up to 150 small scale infrastructure projects will be implemented. To date, more than 53,725 person days of employment have been created through EJP infrastructure projects.