Mr. Ghassan Kasabreh started the event by welcoming the attendees, and then he presented a brief introduction about NDC, its establishment and the programs it offers to the Palestinian NGO sector particularly to those NGOs that target the poor and marginalized areas in Palestine. In addition he described to the beneficiary NGOs the needed requirements to start project implementation and the entailed phases. He also indicated that those grants will support NGOs that work in the Human Rights and Good Governance fields, enhance their sustainability and emphasize the role they play in improving the living conditions of the Palestinian people particularly; those that are most affected by the Israeli occupation, and the continues violation to their human rights. At the end, Mr. Kasabreh, indicated that this ceremony is considered as the starting point of the program and is looking forward to future phases of the program.
Mr. Mario Carera welcomed the attendees on behalf of the three donor countries, and expressed his gratitude to what NDC and the beneficiary NGOs have already accomplished in such a short period of time. He also pointed out the importance of expanding the program’s scope to include working on cooperative initiatives and capacity building for the Palestinian NGOs in the future.
It is worth mentioning, that NDC has been selected by the Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC) (on behalf of Switzerland and 3 other donor countries, namely Denmark, Netherlands and Sweden) to establish and manage a Human Rights and Good Governance NGO Secretariat in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. As Secretariat, NDC serves as the program management unit responsible for channeling pooled donor funding, supporting coordinated initiatives and joint capacity building initiatives, and strengthening policy dialogue for NGOs that are working to promote and protect Human Rights/Good Governance in West Bank and Gaza Strip. NDC has directed USD 6 million towards these ends over a period of 18 months (July 2008 - December 2009). The overall developmental objective of the HR/GG Program is to improve Human Rights and Good Governance in the oPt through the following three mechanisms: Channeling of funds, Strategic Sector Development and Policy Dialogue.