S'pore contributes $128,000 to UN water and sanitation scheme

S'pore contributes $128,000 to UN water and sanitation scheme
Masagos Zulkifli with Perkemas student leaders studying in Al Azhar Cairo.

Singapore has announced a contribution of US$100,000 (S$128,000) to a United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) programme to help in the provision of clean water and sanitation in Gaza.

The contribution was announced by Senior Minister of State (Foreign Affairs and Home Affairs) Masagos Zulkifli on Sunday at the Cairo International Conference on Palestine and Reconstructing Gaza.

This amount is in addition to the US$100,000 that Singapore made in July through the Singapore Red Cross for humanitarian relief efforts in Gaza.

In a speech at the one-day conference, Mr Masagos reiterated Singapore's commitment to supporting the Palestinian Authority's capacity-building efforts through an enhanced technical assistance package.

Describing the Gaza conflict as "devastating and heart-breaking", he said: "Singapore was deeply saddened by the high number of civilian casualties.

We urge all parties to work seriously towards an agreement over Gaza that will best serve the long-term interests of both the Palestinians and the Israelis."

He also called for the "urgent resumption of negotiations towards realising an eventual two- state solution with Israel and Palestine living side by side in peace and security".

"Singapore believes that this is the only way to achieve a lasting and durable peace between the Palestinian and Israeli people."

Mr Masagos also told the meeting that Singapore supports international efforts to alleviate the suffering of the people there.

Apart from government contributions, Singaporeans have also raised about $1.7 million for humanitarian relief efforts in Gaza.

Mr Masagos informed the meeting of Singapore's enhanced technical assistance package for the Palestinian Authority that was announced last year.

Worth $5 million over five years. it includes study visits and training in areas like education, disaster management and information and communications technology.

"We hope more Palestinians will take up our offer, and that they might be encouraged seeing first-hand that it is indeed possible for a country without natural resources to prosper," he said.


This article was first published on Oct 14, 2014.
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