Rehabilitation Program for former Palestinian detainees wins 2012 OFID Award for Development

08.05.2012 | PR08/2012 

(left) Mr. Issa Ahmed Qaraqe, Palestinian Minister of Detainees and
Ex-Detainees Affairs; Mr. Yousef Hussain Kamal, Chairman of OFID's
Ministerial Council; and Mr. Suleiman J. Al-Herbish, OFID Director-General.

The Director-General of the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), Mr. Suleiman J. Al-Herbish, today officially announced that the OFID Annual Award for Development, 2012, will go to the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs and its Ex-Detainees Rehabilitation Program (EDRP). The Award will be presented at the forthcoming 33rd Annual Session of the Ministerial Council of OFID to be held in Austria, June 14. The Palestinian Minister of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs, HE Mr. Issa Ahmed Abelhamid Qaraqe, will receive the Award.

The EDRP of the Ministry of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs focuses on the economic and social rehabilitation of former detainees and their reintegration into Palestinian society. Mr. Al-Herbish said the award was in recognition of the role the EDRP plays in caring for Ex-Detainees and their families. He asserted that a large component of the core efforts of EDRP is targeted toward the families of prisoners, especially the women and children with special needs. Mr. Al-Herbish stated that the work of EDRP is in accord with OFID’s overall objectives in ensuring the sustainability of dignified life for the Palestinian society and that “the program aims at achieving a long-term solution in rehabilitating societal groups by providing a solid framework which has a rippling affect within the entire community.”

In his own statement when informed about the award, HE Mr. Issa Qaraqe thanked OFID for the recognition and said that the money would be used to further assist various services within the framework that the EDRP provides to applicants through 15 local centres in the West Bank and in Gaza. The Program has to date provided rehabilitation services directed toward 18,000 prisoners. These services include a College Education facility for Ex-Detainees; Vocational Training Service; Loan Services; Health Insurance; and finally Psychological Counselling to ex-detainees as well as family members to further enable a positive environment for the family nucleus.

The OFID Annual Award for Development was instituted in 2006. It carries a prize of US$100,000. Among the winners are HUMANA People-to-People, a Zimbabwe-based NGO, Austria-based NGO, SOS Children’s Villages, the Grameen Bank of Dhaka, Bangladesh, Bartolina Sisa’s of Bolivia; Yéle Haiti Foundation; and last year’s award was accorded Dr. Al-Hajri, a philanthropic UAE ear surgeon.

Over the last 36 years, OFID has provided more than US$135 million in assistance for 451 operations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. All operations have been implemented through partnerships with international and regional development organizations and more than 83 Palestinian NGOs in the West Bank and 145 NGOs operating in the Gaza Strip.

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