The Executive Committee of the Association of Palestinian Local Authorities (APLA) reviewed a number of issues that concern the work of local authorities during the current period, especially after the three-month state of emergency throughout the country. APLA stresses that local authorities have not and will not fail to provide basic and vital services affecting the lives of citizens on a daily basis, during the meeting of the Executive Committee of APLA with His Excellency the Minister of Local Government Mr. Majdi Al-Saleh, with the participation of the President of APLA Mr. Musa Hadid and members of the Executive Committee of APLA and the Executive Director of APLA Mr. Abdallah Anati and Dr. Tawfiq Al-Budairi, Deputy of the Ministry of Local Government and Advisor to Minister Walid Abu Halawa.
Minister of Local Government Mr. Al-Saleh stressed the importance of the strategic partnership that brought together the Ministry of Local Government and APLA. He said, “the Ministry of Local Government is a partner and representative of local authorities in the Palestinian government.” He praised the role of local authorities following the declaration of a state of emergency following the spread of the coronavirus and dealing with the utmost responsibility and national commitment to its citizens.
APLA’s President Mr. Hadid stressed the need to take into account the financial situation of local authorities and speed up the transfer of their dues to be paid by the government and to start implementing the stalled projects in order to ensure that basic services continue to be provided to citizens in the best way. Mr. Hadid called on the Executive Committee to strengthen the principle of decentralization in the work of local authorities to expand their powers and develop their services and strengthen the national partnership with the government and its institutions to be able to respond to the requirements of the next phase.
The Deputy of the Ministry of Local Government Dr. Tawfiq al-Budairi explained that the Ministry of Local Government is fully aware of all the challenges and problems faced by local authorities during the previous phase, and that the ministry has begun to design a program to enable local authorities to go through the next phase by supporting the operational expenditure of local authorities on the one hand, and projects under the title “Labor Intensity,” on the other. Dr. Al-Budairi Added that the Ministry looks forward to working with APLA to prepare a plan to deal with the next phase and its challenges.
During the meeting of the Executive Committee of APLA, which was held before the meeting with the Minister of Local Government, the Executive Director of APLA M. Abdallah Anati reviewed the highlights of the position paper prepared by APLA regarding the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on Palestinian local authorities and how they dealt with this pandemic and the challenges they faced and the most important needs, requirements and interventions of priority to be worked on in post-coronavirus phase.