UN trains newly elected Palestinian mayors

A previous six-day phase, training Palestinian trainers, ended today in Ismailia, Egypt, the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) said.That phase gave the 13 participants the chance to develop capacity-building programmes and new methods, based on UN-HABITAT training manuals, to teach leadership and management skills to mayors, local authority councillors and other local leaders in interactive, participatory, client-centred sessions, it said. After a formal opening ceremony on Friday, the graduates of the first phase will train 21 mayors from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in a pilot workshop from 21 to 26 May.Meanwhile, the main UN agency helping Palestine refugees is holding a meeting in Amman, Jordan, where it briefed its major donors on contingency plans relating to the Israeli pullout from Gaza.The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) said that even large amounts of international aid would not help the two-thirds of Gaza that lives in abject poverty unless Palestinians were given much-improved access to the outside world.During the meeting the United States announced a $20 million donation to UNRWA’s Emergency Appeal for the West Bank and Gaza to support food aid programmes. read more