Full text of remarks by USAID Mission Director for the West Bank and Gaza Howard Sumka
Prime Minister Fayyad, Minister Qawasmi, Minister Shtayyeh, Dr. Asali, Mr. Al Sami, Mr. Suleiman and members of Beit Ur al Tahta council, distinguished guests:
I am pleased to be with you to represent the United States Agency for International Development and to celebrate the completion of this project.
The improved road and street lighting will enhance your safety and the safety of your children. Life in your village will be noticeably improved. I am proud that USAID could be a part of this.
We supported this under a program in which we work closely with communities like yours throughout the West Bank. Our goal is to create jobs and strengthen the economy by building community infrastructure.
We are driven by a single, overarching goal: to help build a Palestinian state. This project is a small but important step toward that vision.
Its importance lies not just in the work we did here and elsewhere. This was a path-breaking undertaking that built a partnership of private American charities and the United States Government. We pooled our resources to reach a common goal.
My friend Ziad conceived the American Charities for Palestine a year and a half ago. Through many discussions and lawyers’ reviews, we came up with a model to link it with USAID. The proof of the model is in the streets of your village.
We hope this is just the beginning of a future that will bring the resources and creativity of the Palestinian Diaspora to our state-building enterprise. Ziad’s vision bore fruit because many people shared it. I want to thank:
- Mr. Al Shami and his foundation for their generosity.
- The USAID staff, especially Kimberlee Bell and Tony Rantissi, whose creativity led the way forward.
- Our partners at CHF – Lana Abu Hijleh, Abdul Nasser Faraj, and their staff – whose professionalism and dedication made it happen.
- And finally, the Beit Ur al Tahta Village Council leaders for their leadership and commitment.
I thank all you and wish you the best of luck in the future.