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Since 2013, Johanniter International Assistance cooperates on the implementation of a project aiming to promote the economic empowerment of persons with disabilities in the West Bank, specifically in the rural areas of the Bethlehem and Hebron districts. The partner organisation of our German JOIN member working on the ground is the Bethlehem Arab Society for Rehabilitation (BASR). The project has a running time of 36 months and is coming to an end this year. It is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.
A stalled peace process, violence, occupation and the expansion of Israeli settlements have taken a heavy toll on the Palestinian economy and labour market. The effects on the livelihoods of Palestinian people are devastating with a significant rise of unemployment. Persons with disabilities and their families are hit particularly hard: 87.3 per cent of persons over 18 with a disability have no work. In this context, the project aims at providing men and women with disabilities with access to vocational training and income generating opportunities and sensitized relevant actors and institutions.
Johanniter International Assistance experts Anette Müller, desk officer for South/Central Asia, Middle East and Europe and Susanne Wilm, advisor for the inclusion of persons with disabilities, recently visited the BASR. The objective of the visit was not only to discuss with BASR and project participants the implementation experience and potential follow-up but also to plan the upcoming evaluation. The project was expected to generate useful lessons learned and good practice on how to improve access to work for persons with disabilities. In this regard, the evaluation will provide information that can inform further programming of our partner BASR but also other Johanniter livelihood projects that want to be more inclusive of persons with disabilities. Except South Sudan and Lebanon, all countries where our German JOIN member works ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which requires States parties to promote the realisation of the right to work of persons with disabilities (Article 27). Part of the evaluation will be the preparation of an up-coming learning paper on key lessons learned.
Follow this link (in German) to get more information on Johanniter International Assistance’ activities in the Palestinian Territories.