July 2012

Housing and social emergency in the Old City of Jerusalem: the second phase of the project is now under way

Several days ago saw the beginning of the second phase of the project “Housing and social emergency in the Old City of Jerusalem East”, financed by the Office of Italian Development Cooperation in Jerusalem as part of the “Emergency initiative in support of the vulnerable Palestinian population”.

The project, carried out by the Technical Office of the Custody of the Holy Land in cooperation with ATS pro Terra Sancta, and co-financed by the Custody of the Holy Land, is aimed at addressing the housing emergency confronting the Old City of Jerusalem, notably with respect to water supply. The principal objectives are to restore dwellings damaged by malfunctioning water and sewer systems to a habitable condition, while at the same time educating the residents on the proper maintenance of the components of such systems.

Thanks to Italian funding 15 general water supply systems have been repaired as well as 35 water-sewage installations in residences, bringing immediate benefits to approximately 80 of the neediest families. To carry out this work five unemployed youths from East Jerusalem and the West Bank were contracted to work for the seven months of the project alongside four specialized workers from the maintenance team of the Custody of the Holy Land’s Technical Office. In this manner they will be able to benefit from on-the-job training and be candidates for eventual full employment positions with the Custodial team.

In 2011 the first phase of the project had led to the employment of ten workers and the carrying out of interventions in 60 apartments.

More information about this project on the website Jerusalem, Stones of Memory.

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