GAZA, May 28, 2012 (WAFA) – The Palestinian Contractors Union Monday called on its members not to participate in any tender by UNICEF for projects in the Gaza Strip if Israeli companies are allowed to take part in them, according to a statement issued following a meeting between the union and UNICEF representative to the occupied Palestinian territories Jean Gough.

The meeting discussed tenders by UNICEF for water desalination stations in the Gaza Strip in which Israeli companies have submitted price proposals.

The contractors union called on UNICEF not to accept the Israeli proposals, warning members of “serious consequences” if they work with Israeli companies to win the tenders.

It said that by accepting to work for the Israeli companies as subcontractors, the Palestinian companies and UNICEF would be actually “rewarding the occupiers for their siege (of Gaza) and destruction of the Palestinian economy.”


UNICEF Explains Procurement Policy in Palestinian Territory – WAFA

GAZA, May 28, 2012 – Following criticism by the Palestinian Contractors Union regarding its procurement policy in the occupied Palestinian Territory, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said Monday that if Palestinians are unable to provide the goods needed for any project, it has to buy them from other providers.

The contractors had expressed concern in a statement regarding participation of Israeli companies in UNICEF tenders to build desalination station in the Gaza Strip and called for a boycott of the tenders.

UNICEF Special Representative in the occupied Palestinian territory, Jean Gough, met Monday with the chairman of the Palestinian Contractors Union in Gaza to discuss the concerns they raised over UNICEF procurement policy.

“The priority and policy of UNICEF office in the occupied Palestinian territory is to purchase goods and services from qualified Palestinian manufacturers, authorized dealers and companies,” said Gough in a statement. “We only buy from other providers when goods are not available,” she added.

“When purchasing goods, works or services, UNICEF follows the joint United Nations guidelines and buys goods directly from manufacturers or authorized dealers in a timely, cost effective manner. All purchases are made through competitive tendering among pre-qualified suppliers based in the area of operations,” said the statement.

It said that the desalination unit is one of UNICEF’s latest projects in Gaza, which will provide Palestinian children with access to good quality water.

“We are committed to work with our Palestinian partners to ensure that this unit can be built without delay and with the best quality materials available, so that it can benefit Palestinian children as soon as possible,” Gough said. “The final decision on the continuation of this project is in the hands of our Palestinian counterparts and stakeholders,” she added.

UNICEF has been working in the occupied Palestinian territory since the 1980s. In partnership with a wide range of Palestinian organizations, UNICEF programs help Palestinian children access education, protection, health and safe drinking water.

from the editor: In January, the Palestinian Authority signed an agreement with the European Union and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to build a $10 million USD desalination plant in Gaza.

The plant is scheduled to start production in 2012, with a total capacity of 6,000 cubic meters per day, according to Palestinian officials.