Bethlehem – On Wednesday, December 10, 2014, the Bethlehem Municipality, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and its implementing partner ANERA, launched the rehabilitation of Bethlehem’s Old Market. Once completed, the renovated market will be able to serve as one of Bethlehem’s economic and social hubs. The event took place in Bethlehem’s Manger Square and was attended by members of the community, Bethlehem Governor Jibreen Al-Bakri, Minister of Local Government Nayef Abu Khalaf, Bethlehem Mayor Vera Baboun, USAID West Bank and Gaza Mission Director Dave Harden, and ANERA Country Director Paul Butler.
USAID is investing more than $2 million to renovate the market in four stages over nine months. Work will include rehabilitation of the road leading to the market; installation of canopies; upgrade of infrastructure services; and construction of a 700 square meter space to accommodate more vendors. The market originally had space for 150 vendors; the newly expanded market will be able to host an additional 100 vendors. This project aims to revitalize the market to allow for an improved flow of people and goods, enhancing the commercial experience for shoppers and vendors, as well as tourists, thereby benefiting the 30,000 residents of the area. In addition, the project will generate 9,000 days of employment.
This project came together as a result of coordination between representatives of the Bethlehem Municipality and Bethlehem community, the Municipality Board, and market vendors, all of whom provided feedback and discussed the conceptual designs and implementation schedule. ANERA and the Municipality also signed a Memorandum of Understanding on enhanced coordination in order to ensure the smooth implementation and sustainability of the project.
The U.S. Government, through USAID, is the leading provider of bilateral development assistance to the Palestinians, having provided more than $4.6 billion since 1994 for programs in the areas of democracy and governance; education; health and humanitarian assistance; private enterprise; and water resources and infrastructure.
For more information on U.S. assistance, please contact the USAID Press Office at email@example.com or call 03-511-4845.
For additional information about this project, please contact ANERA’s Communications and PR Office at 02-581-9560 or Bethlehem Municipality at 02-274-13235.