American Charities for Palestine
July 14, 2009 - 12:00am

American Charities for Palestine (ACP) is pleased to announce the completion of phase one of a joint infrastructure project in the West Bank village of Beit Ur al Tahta. CHF International is implementing the construction work in the area, which includes sidewalk and road electrification projects funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in partnership with ACP and funding from the Sheikh Mohammed Shami Foundation. USAID provided $250,000 through the Emergency Jobs Program (EJP) to the project. An additional $150,000 donation to the project was made to ACP by the Shami Foundation, headed by Mr. Farouk Shami of Houston,Texas. Mr. Shami is a member of the Board of the American Task Force on Palestine (ATFP) and a well-known philanthropist.

Under the first phase of the project, CHF International completed construction of road shoulders, sidewalks and retaining walls for the main road in the village and to the road leading to the Mohammed Al-Shami Girls’ School. The construction of the sidewalks has provided safe pedestrian access to the residents and especially to students walking to the newly completed school. Under the second and third phases of this project, the sidewalks will be expanded out from the area around the school to reach two additional schools and a kindergarten, and streetlights will be installed along the completed stretch of sidewalks, road shoulders, and retaining walls.

This project is implemented in coordination with the Beit Ur al-Tahta Village Council, for the benefit of the 5,000 residents of the community and 20,000 people from the surrounding communities who regularly pass through the village. To date, 2,972 job days were created for 70 local workers, creating much needed employment opportunities in an area that has around 50% unemployment. An additional 1,450 work days are expected in phases two and three.

The Emergency Jobs Program (EJP), funded by USAID, aims to alleviate humanitarian and short-term unemployment problems, laying the foundations for more sustainable economic vitality through labor-intensive and community managed methods for the construction, rehabilitation and maintenance of small-scale infrastructure. Projects are designed in close collaboration with communities, the public sector, and the private sector. During the project period up to 150 small-scale infrastructure projects will be implemented. To date, around 100,000 person days of employment have been created through EJP infrastructure projects.

CHF International, which implements the EJP, is an international development and humanitarian assistance organization, currently working in more than 30 countries around the world. The organization’s mission is to be a catalyst for long-lasting positive change in low- and moderate-income communities around the world, helping them to improve their social, economic and environmental conditions. CHF International programs are community-led initiatives designed to build a better world. For more information, visit

ACP is an innovative charitable organization founded in June 2007 for the purpose of creating a secure mechanism for distributing contributions that improve the quality of life for Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. In August 2008, ACP signed a Memorandum of Understanding with USAID launching a public-private partnership to promote health and education activities for Palestinians. The Beit Ur al-Tahta project is among the first of these coordinated activities between USAID and ACP. ACP focuses primarily on the fields of health and education and has already delivered contributions totaling $605,000 in three charitable initiatives. ACP seeks to offer a secure and efficient means of transferring charitable donations to programs for Palestinians.

Since 1993, USAID has provided more than $2.2 billion in U.S. economic assistance to Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza via projects designed to combat poverty, improve health and education, create jobs, and promote good governance.


American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017