Cablegate: Prm Ambassadors' Fund Request for Palestinian

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.




E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: A. STATE 15910

1. Summary: Ambassador requests $40,000 under the PRM
Ambassadors' fund for refugees in the Middle East, to
purchase a 14-passenger minibus for the Community
Rehabilitation Center (CRC) at Baqa'a camp ($20,000) and to
build an addition to the Women's Program Center (WPC) at
Jebel Hussein camp ($20,000). The minibus purchase would
allow Baqa'a camp's CRC to shuttle 215 disabled students from
their homes to the center, and to bring therapists to
homebound disabled children. Both the GOJ's Department of
Palestinian Affairs and UNRWA have identified support for
disabled programs as one of the greatest needs in the refugee
community. PRM support for an addition to Jebel Hussein
camp's WPC would allow the center to serve an additional 100
vocational trainees per month, provide additional
revenue-generating programs and further overall USG refugee
goals of strengthening women's programs. Both projects would
respond to critical gaps in refugee assistance programs. We
are submitting two funding requests based on PRM's indication
(ref b) that up to $40,000 may be available for projects in
Jordan. If only $20,000 is available, our first priority is
the minibus for Baqa'a camp's CRC. End summary.

A Bus for Disabled Children

2. In separate meetings with refcoord, both the GOJ's
Department of Palestinian Affairs and UNRWA relief officials
identified support for disabled programs as one of the
greatest needs in Jordan's refugee community. UNRWA provides
assistance to disabled Palestinian refugees through Jordan's
10 Community Rehabilitation Centers (CRC) -- independent,
community-based organizations that are severely underfunded.
Although UNRWA provides financial and technical support to
the CRCs in Jordan (an average of $12,500 per center per
year), this is not enough to cover the centers' running
costs, much less major purchases. In addition to UNRWA
support, the CRC in Baqa'a camp (established in 1998 with
significant support from PRM) receives rental income from
commercial properties it owns in the camp, as well as income
from the nominal fees paid by families who benefit from its
services. The center relies heavily on contributions from
international NGOs and local embassies. The center is
managed by an active, voluntary board and well-qualified
professional staff. With technical support from UNRWA, it
also has strong financial management procedures in place.

3. PRM funding is requested to purchase a minibus for the
center, to shuttle to and from the center the 215 disabled
children it serves, and to bring therapists to homebound
disabled children -- a new program that can be implemented
only with a new bus. The center currently provides services
for the hearing-impaired; speech therapy; physiotherapy;
primary education for the mentally impaired; and family
counseling services.

4. Baqa'a camp's CRC would implement the program, purchasing
the bus from a local vendor as soon as funding is available.
The GOJ's Department of Palestinian Affairs, which identified
this project to refcoord, has indicated it will facilitate a
tax-exempt purchase and vehicle registration. The sole cost
of the project is the $20,000 purchase price, which reflects
local market value for a 14-passenger minibus. Refcoord
would monitor the project.

5. Support for this key disabled assistance program is the
Ambassador's first funding priority.

Expanded Programs for Refugee Women

6. Jordan's 27 women's program centers (WPC) provide
vocational training, daycare, fitness and education programs
to Palestinian refugee women. Although they receive some
financial and technical support from UNRWA (an average of
$8,000 per center per year), these independent,
community-based organizations do not have enough resources to
cover capital improvements. The centers' programs typically
are self-sustaining, financed by the fees charged to course
participants and daycare clients. Support for the WPCs would
further overall USG refugee goals of strengthening women's

7. The WPC in Jebel Hussein camp was established in 1987,
with significant support from UNRWA. It currently provides
vocational training (sewing, computer and hairdressing
courses), daycare and fitness program to 220 women per month.
It also runs a groundbreaking legal aid bureau (one of only
two in Jordan), where Palestinian refugee women can seek
specific legal advice and also attend workshops and seminars
on more general legal issues. The center is governed by a
dynamic, voluntary board of 7 women, with strong
organizational skills, and has stringent management and
financial controls.

8. PRM funding is requested to build a 107 square meter
addition to the existing Jebel Hussein WPC building, which
would enable the center to expand its programs significantly
and serve an additional 100 trainees per month. (All
training currently takes place in a cramped library and two
classrooms.) The addition also would include space for a
small canteen, which would provide the center with another
source of income. The women's committee will provide $6,740
of its own funds toward construction costs. A contribution
of $20,000 is requested to cover the remaining construction
costs. A budget breakdown reflecting both the USG
contribution and the Women,s Committee contribution is as

Project Costs
Design Plans $ 350
Site Supervision $ 2,120
External Construction $11,300
Internal finishing $10,850
Inflation & contingencies $ 2,120
Total Cost $26,470

Women,s Program Center (WPC) Contribution
Design Plan $ 350
Site Supervision $ 2,210
Internal Finishing $ 1,880
Inflation & Contingencies $ 2,120
Total $ 6,470

USG Contribution
External Contribution $11,300
Internal Finishing $ 8,700
Total $20,000

9. Jebel Hussein Camp's WPC would implement the project,
including contracting and supervision of all construction
services. Refcoord would monitor the project.

Administrative Note

10. Post has the authority and procedures in place to
transfer these funds to the intended recipient agencies.


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